The delicate balance of life and death in Africa is nowhere more evident than on the banks of the continent`s mighty rivers. Rural communities depend on the rich silt brought down by rivers for farming but they are also at risk of devastating floods, as are urban dwellers in informal settlements that are often built on floodplains.
Dr Sue Marriott, reader in earth sciences at UWE`s Faculty of the Built Environment, is setting off this month to help with training environmental managers in floodplain management and river rehabilitation. The particular focus of the training will be the effects of the Jozini Dam on the Pongola floodplain, in the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal.
"The dam was built in the 1970s with the idea of irrigating farmland," said Dr Marriott, "but the dam stopped flows of nutrient-rich sediment that agriculture depends on and has changed the ecology of the whole area.
Julia Weston | alphagalileo
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