The Duzi-Umngeni Conversation Trust (DUCT) is an organisation in Pietermaritzburg, Kwazulu Natal. Its focus is to champion the environmental health of the uMngeni and uMsunduzi Rivers through its projects. Some of the projects are implemented as part of the Expanded Public Work Programme (EPWP), run by the Department of Public Works. The overall purpose of EPWP is to ‘create income relief through temporary work opportunities for those who are unskilled, unemployed, poor, and vulnerable’ in four sectors: infrastructure, non-state, social and environment & culture.
The DUCT projects that are run through EPWP support the environment sector addressing water quality and quantity efforts; they do so by clearing alien plant species, rivers and riparian areas in Greater Edendale, Sobantu, Baynespruit, Durban and Richards Bay.
What is the outcome of these projects?
These projects provide capacity development and work experience. Their impact in the communities is seen through improved livelihoods because of job creation, cleaner communities, and more participative citizens. Young people who have been employed by DUCT have experienced a positive difference in the implementation of the EPWP. Nompumelelo Bhengu is one of the young interns who works for one of these projects. Nompulelo started working at DUCT as an Enviro Champ as a volunteer, which means she was responsible for creating awareness about how to preserve the rivers.
She joined a live panel discussion organised by Youth Capital on Facebook to talk about her involvement in a DUCT project. When speaking about what she has gained, Nompumelelo explained that she received accredited training and received the National Certificate of Environmental Practice. In the end, she encouraged young people to attend municipal meetings so that they may learn about any EPWP projects mentioned at municipal meetings.
Watch the Live here or read more about DUCT here.