The Lower Usuthu Sustainable Land Management Project (LUSLM) has the overall goal of reducing land degradation and protecting biodiversity through widespread adoption of sustainable land management practices in Swaziland; while also contributing to mitigating climate change, and increasing communities’ capacity to adapt to its adverse effects.
Biodiversity loss, land degradation and water stress are at the center of livelihoods of most farmers in rural Swaziland. The 2015 World Water Day Awards in Swaziland, under the theme of “water & sustainable development”, recognized the project’s achievements in water management for sustainable development. Two first place prizes went to the project for sustainable practices and best picture for the water and sustainable development theme. The winning picture, depicting a family collecting water from their roof water harvester, showcases a community-led initiative for good water management practices, rendered effectively operational over a long period of time.?Among other water harvesting techniques taught to the communities through the project are infield ripper farrow and basin water harvesting, and water harvesting through land rehabilitation on degraded land and dongas
The above picture of a rain water harvesting tank constructed from cement was taken at Hlutse Community at a Magagula homestead, headed by Mrs. Lindiwe Ndlovu, where she lives with her four children. This Ferro-cement rainwater harvester holds 1,700 liters of water. The family is now getting clean water from their own yard instead of having to walk long distances to fetch it, giving the children more time to do their school work.
The project, also known as LUSIP-GEF, received four awards in total, with first places in two categories: best picture and activities on sustainable practices, and two second place awards for community outreach and awareness creation on water and sustainable development.