Aims

Water and Fire aims to directly address the disaster risk challenges of three environmental hazards of water and fire in marginalised SA communities by testing new methods of complementary democratic and creative engagement to advocate community-driven solutions and resilience actions to reduce disasters, thereby closing knowledge gaps.

By engaging themes of water and fire, the project objectives are to work with and alongside residents:

  1. To address three environmental hazards affecting three marginalised township communities on the CF, with the aim of enhancing local capacity to reduce disaster risks;
  2. To improve the wellbeing, resilience and livelihoods of 3 severely disaster-affected communities;
  3. To create alternative development pathways for sustainability by mobilising local knowledges and multi-literacies, and by engaging indigenous processes for democratic participation and dialogue in disaster risk reduction within marginalised communities;
  4. To engage community-driven co-produced and creative processes to share information and build strategic resilience action on disaster risk reduction within risk-affected communities;
  5. To build an equitable framework for policy development and practice based on democratic, mediating systems that foster trust and cooperation between state, civil society, and affected residents
  6. Through sharing information and processes from research activities, to increase local capacity in other similarly affected urban communities on the CF and SA, and raise potential for scaled-up impact beyond the affected communities to provincial, national and international policy arenas that value decision-making by the communities most at risk to environmental hazards;
  7. To support strategic partnership building between the University of Stirling (UoS) team, the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation (SLF), Universities of Cape Town (UCT) and Western Cape (UWC), and participating residents of Delft South, Overcome Heights, and Sweet Home Farm on CF, to codevelop disaster risk reduction solutions to water and fire hazards faced by their and other CF communities.

Through the systematic co-development of a set of resilience actions, this project will directly benefit risk-affected communities in their efforts to mitigate disaster risks and achieve sustainable livelihoods. These resilience actions include collaborative partnership to:

  • Assemble local knowledge drawn from affected residents’ lived experiences and individual/collective actions to mitigate risks;
  • Engage indigenous democratic processes and creative interventions to mobilise local knowledge towards proactive responses to disaster risks;
  • Mobilise local knowledge to
    codevelop a set of agreed 15 “Best Bets” as shared, practical actions to help reduce disaster risks;
  • Develop these 15 “Best Bets” into a community-driven policy strategy for disaster risk reduction;
  • Create a democratic, ‘mediating system’ framework for codeveloping policy strategies and community resilience actions to reduce disaster risks in affected communities.

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