Anna Moritimone Molala is a farmer at Motsule Projects, a personal project, in Limpopo. She gives back to her community by helping them create backyard gardens and equipping them with the skills they need to produce food. She shares ideas about permaculture principles, the importance of organic produce and seed saving. Anna also works with an organisation called Mahlathini, which invites her to teach people how to grow vegetables within the constraints of space and water — and the importance of conserving water. In 2014, she received an award for harvesting rainwater. Anna promotes chemical-free production of food and instead encourages the use of pesticides made with a mixture of herbs. She teaches people about making compost and using this in their fields or gardens. Anna also helps the people in and around her area to start their own businesses. This was especially important during the Covid-19 pandemic, when women supporting families found it hard to survive financially. During the lockdowns, she partnered with Zingela Ulwazi in Mpumalanga, an organisation that helps women to sustain themselves. She says this helped her to network and to learn from other people about how they overcome similar problems. Anna says of her work: “My project has been the reason I wake up every morning. I married young, at the tender age of 18, to an old man who did not take care of me. He got me sick and left me with two children. My work is the reason I survived an abusive relationship and found the healing that I needed.”
What’s been your/the organisation’s greatest achievement in your field?
Food processing, seed saving and sustainability.
Please provide specific examples of how your organisation’s practices and work have a positive effect on the environment
Because of climate change, we promote biodiversity, water conservation and soil fertility as well as helping to preserve forests.
What are some of the biggest environmental challenges faced by South Africans today?
Loss of biodiversity and forests.
Our theme this year is Celebrating Environment Heroes. What do you believe could be the repercussions for millions of people in South Africa and the continent if we do not tackle problems exacerbated by climate change, encompassing issues like drought, floods, fires, extreme heat, biodiversity loss, and pollution of air and water?
Hunger, poverty and disease will increase, South Africa will have to make more imports; there will be increased deaths.