Matthew Weaver, a PhD candidate at the Institute for Water Research was awarded the Rhodes University Environmental Award in the individual category. The award was in recognition for the extensive contributions he has made in participatory research processes to improve democratic water governance processes at a provincial and more markedly at a local governance scale in the Makana Local Municipality.
Matthew has been actively involved in the establishment and function of South Africa's first water and sanitation catchment management forum in which both water services and water resource management agendas are integrated. The forum is leading the way in the Eastern Cape in the development of a Water Plan for Makana, a plan that is inclusive of a wide range of stakeholder inputs. He, and Forum partners, have pioneered a Makana Water awareness campaign, taking Grahamstown Residents on an interactive tour of Grahamstown's water supply system. Building water-related awareness and influencing people's behavior in the Grahamstown community has also seen him conduct interactive presentations at Grahamstown schools.
Matthew was acknowledged not only for his contributions to inclusive and effective water governance practices but also for his academic contribution by publishing his work in peer reviewed journals.
The contribution of these efforts made Matthew a worthy recipient of the RU Environmental Individual reward.
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