Rehabilitation and restoration in Okhombe

ReStory narrator: Nobuhle Mweli

The rehabilitation and restoration project is done in Okhombe, a rural community in Bergville, northern Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The community has a monitoring group, called Okhombe Monitoring Group (OMG), which is involved in the rehabilitation and have been doing so for two decades. They have restored water as an important ecosystem service and productive land for grazing. All pictures were taken by me (Nobuhle Mweli).

This was previously a deep gully. Community members of the monitoring group then started rehabilitating it using stone packs/line, later planted vetiver grass and kikuyu to help stabilise the soil.

Stone packs on eroded gullies, slowly recovering as we see grass tufts in between the packs.

These pictures show runoff plots which are used, together with a clarity tube, to assess water clarity. First picture is a degraded plot with low basal cover, and second picture shows a fully recovered plot with close to 100 % basal cover.

This water was collected from the runoff plots in pictures above. The bottle on the left has water from the rehabilitated plot with increased basal cover and the bottle on the right is from the degraded plot. This shows as improvement in water quality with the presence of plant surface cover.