Barriers to the effective management of water streams in uMlazi township, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa
Keywords:Streams; river systems; stakeholders; management barriers
South Africa is currently facing a water crisis due to low rainfall, climate change, a large population and pollution in freshwater sources. Rivers and streams are polluted despite the legislation and management systems established by the government at the national, provincial, and local levels. The aim of this study was to determine the perceived barriers to the effective management of streams in uMlazi township in KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. The study was conducted at a Durban solid waste office in Cator Manor and a community hall in uMlazi township. A qualitative case study design was used. Data was collected through focus group discussions from the two groups who were involved in the management of water streams in uMlazi township, namely Sihlanzimvelo co-operatives and the section of the EThekwini Municipality involved in stream management. Data were recorded, transcribed, coded and thematically analyzed. Four main themes were identified, which revealed that the current barriers to effective stream management were related to attitudes and behavior of the communities and the EThekwini Municipality's working conditions and management practices. The study established that to manage the streams effectively, all stakeholders in communities should be actively involved, and for that to be possible, they should all be educated about the importance of streams and the environment in general. Environmental education was found to be central in promoting accountability and civility in engagements amongst stakeholders, to ensure that there were healthier streams and river systems and an eco-friendly future was secured.
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