United Nations UNEP and WfW

Working for Water is a government program in South Africa that was founded in 1995 to clear alien invasive plants while providing social services and rural employment. Alien invasive plants tend to be heavy water users in South Africa’s arid climate, so their removal frees water resources for both human needs and the environment. In addition to the specific problem of alien plants, the Working for Water Programme was designed to address a range of sustainable development issues in South Africa by hiring and training unemployed members of marginal communities. The broad goals of Working for Water Programme have meant that the program has a tendency to be a pioneer in addressing social issues in South Africa. Training for workers includes not only technical skills such as herbicide application, but also small business development and health education.