Back the BUGS!
The Rhodes University Centre of Biological Control (CBC) is calling for support from the Hartbeespoort Dam community to raise funds through a crowdfunding initiative to assist with the continuity of the CBC and the great work they do to help us control the aquatic weeds that invade our dam.
Please follow the link below for more info.
WHO IS THE CBC AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
The Centre for Biological Control (CBC) is a research consortium based at Rhodes University, in Makhanda, Eastern Cape. The CBC is mandated by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) to conduct and implement research into the biological control of invasive aquatic species in South Africa. Two of these species, common salvinia and water hyacinth, plague Hartbeespoort Dam. In the last funding cycle, the CBC received R22 million for aquatic weed research from the DFFE for 4 years, from 2018-2021, allowing the CBC to, free of charge:
- Consult on invasive aquatic plant management
- Provide biological control agents
- Set up insect rearing stations
- Research new agents
- Conduct post release evaluations
- Build capacity – students, scholars, courses
- Conduct community engagement and public relation activities
Unfortunately, funding which should have come into place on 1 April 2021 has not yet been awarded for the next cycle. We were granted a 6 month no-cost extension by DFFE which ended on 31 August 2021. Since then, we rely on pooling resources from other external funds, which support the salaries and running costs of the project until 31 October 2021, by which time we will be retrenching and closing down our facility.
HOW IS THE MONEY SPENT?
Biocontrol research and implementation at Harties alone costs the CBC aquatic weeds project ~R1.8 million per year, 33% of our annual budget.
- 25% Deputy director (R200K)
- 35% Researcher (R175K)
- 100% PhD student (R150K)
- 100% Postdoc (R255K)
- 50% Junior researcher (R250K)
- 100% MSc student (R135K)
- Operation costs
- Running costs (R100K)
- Rearing tunnels (R120K)
- Quarantine (R200K)
- Megamelus rearing (R150K)
We are hoping to raise ~ 3 months worth of funding to see us through the funding hiatus. The funds raised through this platform will be used to fund biocontrol research and implementation for Hartbeespoort Dam.
These funds will come directly to us at the CBC, there will be no “middle man”, and in turn, all of the money will go directly back into the Harties project.
The work includes research into and the imminent release of the biological control agent on common salvinia, as well as the continued rearing and releasing of agents on water hyacinth.
We hope this partnership with Harties stakeholders will benefit all who derive benefit from a plant-free dam.