World Africa Day
World Africa Day – The MCC is a partnership between African Waters and the Makhangoa Community, which was set up in 2012. This groundbreaking community-based fly fishing venture has since become an industry success story, and the blueprint is being applied to projects across the continent, both within the African Waters’ framework and elsewhere.
The MCC and Rosehip Cottage are situated on the banks of the Bokong River and are home to arguably one of the continents finest fresh water fisheries. Each year, between spring and autumn, thousands of smallmouth yellowfish migrate up the Bokong River to spend the summer months feeding and spawning in its pristine waters. Over the last decade, the MCC has become a mecca for fly fishermen across South Africa wanting to experience world-class dry fly sight fishing. International anglers are also becoming aware of the quality of the fishery, as each season we see more guests visiting from abroad. A healthy population of wild rainbow and brown trout also call the Bokong River their home, making the fishery as diverse as it is beautiful.
Lesotho exports water to South Africa through the Lesotho Highlands Water Project. The Bokong River is one of the major feeders to Katse Dam, a massive reservoir that forms part of this cross-border water scheme. To this end, a healthy catchment producing clean water is imperative. The MCC is integral in achieving this mandate.
In summary, the Bokong River and valley represent crucial mountain aquatic and terrestrial habitat. This habitat supports a rich array of indigenous fauna and flora, as well as the traditional livelihoods of the local communities. The MCC is proud to champion the conservation and community beneficiation in the region. Here are some of the ways we are achieving this.
Community Levies – A nightly community levy is included in all guests’ package price. Levies generated are paid to the Makhangoa Community Tourism Council. These funds are then allocated to projects as deemed necessary, and voted, for by the community.
Employment – All camp staff, both permanent and casual, come from the surrounding community.
Skills development – Builders, river rangers, camp managers, and housekeeping staff are all trained in-house to ensure local employment only. Did you know the MCC employs over 40 housekeeping ladies on an equal opportunity rotation system, and in peak camp build/maintenance periods, we have up to 50 casual laborers in rotation.
The MCC sources building materials and camp supplies locally as far as possible.
- The River Rangers program: local community members are trained to ensure best practices and legal frameworks are adhered to. The River Rangers also have a direct line to the LHDA Environmental officers and the Lesotho Defence Force should we encounter any problems that require outside assistance.
- MiniSASS: a community river health monitoring system that uses a simple aquatic bio-monitoring technique to determine river health.
- Partnering with academic bodies and local government to assist with research to quantify the benefits well-managed fly fishing provides to the region. This research is ongoing and will be used to guide local government in making informed decisions when planning fishery management and legislation going forward.
- Ongoing litter cleanups and erosion control in the region.
- Environmental awareness and education days at local schools.
In addition to the above, here are a few interesting projects funded by the MCC:
Wonderbag cooking solutions
The Wonderbag distribution and training program has gone a long way in reducing the amount of fuel that needs to be burned, and indirectly provides a number of additional benefits to local households.
School Stationery drives
Every year, the MCC sponsors stationery for three schools in the vicinity, assisting over 600 students.
Solar Power Roll Out with IndiFly
Installation of 65 solar units in Makhangoa Village. These systems provide lights, radio, and charging points to every homestead in the village.
Funding and facilitating the building of the Makhangoa footbridge, thus allowing students to reach schools during high water periods, as well as ensuring local community members can tend to their crops and livestock on both sides of the river.
Cast Connect Conserve
The MCC epitomizes our slogan, Cast – Connect – Conserve, and we look forward to many more years of serving the community and environment at Makhangoa.