Lake Fundudzi Field Work begins!


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!



The Sacred Lake Fundudzi

lake fundudziFor the past month, the ACHA project team has been preparing for the field work phase on the new Lake Fundudzi project funded by the National Heritage Council. A questionnaire to collect data in the field has been developed by Ian Durbach and Bantu Halam with input from the project team. It is currently being reviewed by an external reference group and will be finalised this week! A literature review by Heather Wares has been conducted to create a historical context for the field work and an experienced field work assistant from the area has been sourced to work with Lusanda Ngcaweni.The team will be coming together at the end of the week to finalise the preparations for the field work and Lusanda will be heading out to begin the process of collecting information. Make sure you stay tuned to find out more about the project as it unfolds!

Note: The picture in this post comes from the following website –


A new project begins this month!


 A new project begins this month!

ACHA has started to focus on a new project for the National Heritage Council! It a research project focused on developing a heritage site management plan proposal for Lake Fundudzi in Limpopo. This is part of the team that will be tackling our exciting new journey – Ian Durbach, Heather Wares and Bantu Halam. Ian and Bantu are statistical experts that have joined the team to design a meaningful and responsive quantitative survey of the area. Heather is a historian specialising in Maritime Underwater Cultural Heritage (MUCH) – she has joined the team to provide a historical context and overview of the area.