Report from South Africa

Hello friends.  I wanted to write you to let you know how the rain water collection project is going.  I thank you if you have donated to this project via The Rockies Institute (rockiesinstitute.ca) or the fundraising website: https://www.youcaring.com/therockiesinstitute-1145777

Either way, I wanted to give you an update on how the project is going.

 The town of Kuboes in the heart of the Northern Karoo Desert

The town of Kuboes in the heart of the Northern Karoo Desert

After a few days in drought-challenged Cape Town, we drove the 900 km (500 miles) north to the town of Kuboes on the border with Namibia.  It's high desert here, called the Karoo, and the community of Kuboes is a town settled hundreds of years ago by the Nama peoples.  Kuboes has a total population of 950 people.  We are here for two reasons: 1) to build a rain water collection system at the school (which had no permanent water source) and 2) to study the way that rural communities like Kuboes are adapting to the changing climate in South Africa.  We arrived in Kuboes and were very happy to see the 4 water tanks had been delivered as scheduled, each tank capable of holding 10,000 liters of rain water, along with the assorted rain gutters and hardware.  This will serve as the basis of the water storage system for the school and the local community.  While we began building foundations for the water tanks and connecting the rain gutter system, we started our study of how the residents of Kuboes were adapting to the changing climate. 

 Karl w/ Igshaan Samuels with water tanks in background

Karl w/ Igshaan Samuels with water tanks in background

We identified 5 young people in the community who will form a team with each of the 5 South African Students from our Cape Town team who are studying climate issues.  These student teams will canvass the community to assess the towns people’s view of how the climate is changing in terms of distances travelled to fetch water, the location and accessibility of grazing lands, and the intensity of heat waves that hit the region during the summer.  We expect the 5 teams of students to canvass a total of 500 people during the 3 weeks of the study.  This should give us a good understanding of how the townspeople feel that the climate is changing and how they are adapting to those changes.

 Students discussing climate change

Students discussing climate change

So while we are only into the 1st week of the 4 week project, I believe that good progress is being made in both aspects of the project.  Again, I want to thank the Rockies Institute, the South African National Parks and YOU for supporting this project which should significantly improve the lives of the young people in Kuboes. 

 The Kuboes Project Team

The Kuboes Project Team

That is all from here.  My very best to you.

Karl