Application of Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Water Conservation and Management: The Case of Khambashe , Eastern Cape South Africa

Mbiji Mahlangu, Tendayi C. Garutsa

Abstract


Indigenous Knowledge Systems are potential transformative tools if they are effectively integrated in water conservation and management systems not only as a matter of redress but also to enrich the current water systems. Local Knowledge systems provide a sound platform for the conservation and management of water in rural areas. The main objective of this study was to identify and investigate the indigenous practises in water management and conservation processes. This study builds upon fieldwork undertaken in the Khambashe rural district in Buffalo City municipality, Eastern Cape. Data collection methods utilised were survey questionnaires, interviews and observation. Statistical data was analysed through the Statistical Package of Social Sciences. The findings indicated that despite a number of values associated with water in the Xhosa culture, loss of ecological and traditional knowledge towards water security confronts many inhabitants. Despite the weak institutional capacities, failure of the state to provide efficient water structures combined with the challenges that Khambashe faces with regards to water, there is failure to recognise and accommodate traditional or cultural values as an alternative to manage and conserve water in rural Khambashe. Relatively a few people still have a strong interest in the indigenous knowledge systems that motivate communities to undertake cultural obligations towards achieving water security.

DOI: 10.5901/ajis.2014.v3n4p151


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This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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