From 26 – 29 March the DRFN members of The Future Okavango (TFO) project visited the project sites in Tjeye, Mopopama and Mashare in the Kavango Region. The purpose of this visit was to hold meetings with the three Village Development Committees (VDC) and the communities at large. The meetings were aimed at preparing the VDCs for their first formal ‘Forum for Integrated Resource Management (FIRM)’ meeting, involving representatives from the three communities and all their service providers. All three villages have established functional VDCs that are eager to take the FIRM approach to a higher level.
Prior to these meetings the project team had facilitated the process of identifying a vision for each of the villages and to identify key challenges perceived by the community members. The vision and key challenges will guide the planning that will be done together with the service providers during the first FIRM meeting, which will take place in May 2012.
At the FIRM meeting each of the service organisations will introduce themselves and tell the participants what they are currently doing in the area, and what they plan to do in the near future. Representatives from each of the three VDCs will then present the outcomes of the preparatory meetings, namely their visions and key challenges identified. The outcome of the workshop will be an operational plan where the community and service providers commit to certain activities with deliverables within a specified timeframe.
During the community meeting in Mopopama a German film crew covered the meeting and conducted interviews with the project team. A short documentary will be aired on the ARD.de channel, a national German TV channel, on Monday 8 April 2012. The film can be viewed here: http://www.tagesschau.de/multimedia/video/video1094878.html
Cameraman filming soil experiment during the FIRM meeting at Mopapama
At the same meeting one of the TFO project soil scientists, Lars Landschreiber, and his team demonstrated some of their findings to the participants, which was highly appreciated.
For more information about The Future Okavango Project, please click here.