From left to right: Bantu Halam, Heather Wares, Ian Durbach and Lusanda Ngcaweni
The Lake Fundudzi project team came together at the end of last week to engage in the final preparations for the long awaited field work. Our focus for the past month has been preparing a questionnaire for data collection in the field. An initial draft of the questionnaire was designed by the team before being sent out for assessment and refinement by a group of external reviewers from diverse professional backgrounds. The feedback we received was extremely constructive! The outcome is a sensitive, detailed questionnaire that has the potential to meaningfully bridge the divide between the qualitative and quantitative needs of this project.
Based on the literature survey conducted and written up by Heather Wares, extensive work has already taken place around the establishment of a National Heritage Site at Lake Fundudzi through SAHRA and other institutions. These processes have not resulted in community buy-in or support. The outcome is a stalled process. It is our intention that this current research project sheds light on where there are opportunities for consensus between the vested stakeholders. It is our belief that where there is consensus between stakeholders, there is also an opportunity for action. The challenge for initiative that want or need community support and engagement is finding common ground that meets diverse needs. This is what we are looking for!
Lusanda Ngcaweni will be conducting the field work with the support of a local field work assistant from the Lake Fundudzi region.She flew out last Saturday and will begin posting blogs from the field this week. We are all eager to see what she discovers, encounters and shares with us during the process!