Two very important moments in the life of the Bucket Loads of Health project occurred this month. Knowledge exchange workshops brought a team of water microbiologists from Stellenbosch University (SUN) together with residents from Enkanini and Delft. These workshops provided a unique opportunity for researchers and marginalized community members to share diverse perspectives and understanding about the relationship between water and health.
The knowledge exchange workshops were held in Stellenbosch on the 10th and 18th of July. They were attended by eight participants from Enkanini (10th July) and 14 participants from Delft (18th July). Professor Wesaal Khan and 4 members of her research team (post-doctoral fellow Thando Ndlovu and PhD candidates Tanya Clements, Brandon Reyneke, and Monique Waso) took part with great enthusiasm on both days.
The Enkanini and Delft participants presented the collective community maps and individual body maps that they had made during creative workshops in an earlier phase of the project. Through these maps they described the intersectional challenges that water shortage, water restrictions and heavy rainfall bring to their lives. They used their maps as platforms in the knowledge exchange process to depict heart-felt experiences related to these contradictory situations.
Each member of the scientific team had created a personal hand map which they used to describe their journey into water microbiology. Through their hand maps, the researchers acknowledged the people in their lives who had inspired them to become scientists, and talked about other significant influences and experiences that had taken them into their current field of work. They teamed up to give a series of short, down to earth presentations – describing the trajectory of the Western Cape drought and explaining their key research goals and various methodological approaches.