Dr. Priti Parikh, on behalf of the ISULabaNtu team, attended the Water Institute of South Africa (WISA) conference held in Cape Town between June 24th - 27th 2018. She presented a poster which outlined the potential of urban farming in the three case study townships: Havelock, Namibia Stop 8 and Piesang River. Urban farming makes up a part of Phase 3 of the project which looks at environmental management systems. Preliminary results show that there is a high interest in developing urban farming strategies in the three sites, however, there is a number of challenges which have to be addressed for a successful design and implementation of such initiatives. Some of the major constraints include water and land scarcity. Both being critical factors for farming, the project’s goal going forward will be to tackle these challenges and identify opportunities and solutions which could enable urban farming activities among inhabitants of the selected townships.
Dr. Parikh engaged with a number of conference participants to discuss ideas and get valuable feedback which could guide the project team’s work, as well as conducted a series of stakeholder interviews with urban planning and infrastructure experts in Cape Town and in Durban, including those from University of Cape Town, eThekwini Municipality, Umgeni Water and Aqualima Trust. The work of Aqualima has proven highly relevant for the urban agriculture theme explored in Dr. Parikh’s contribution to the conference and their insights and expertise will be a helpful resource in informing the completion of Phase 3 and future work on Phase 5, which will see the building of a resource toolkit based on the collective work of Phases 1 through to 4.