Capacity building for alien clearers
More than 160 alien clearers received capacity-building training in January, as part of the ABI Alien Clearing Project. Training in herbicide application, Health & Safety and First Aid was provided.
The trainees formed part of a 280-person strong team of alien clearers working in the ABI Alien Clearing Project. The project is currently funded by the Department of Environmental Affairs with co-funding from a variety of participants, farmers and other donors. Through the project, which has been operational for a little under a year, more than 15,000 hectares have already been cleared of invasives.
Around 100 workers in the project received training in Health & Safety and First Aid. These clearers are tasked with assessing the hazards of clearing in a specific terrain, the safety and conditions of the tools and other safety elements. The First Aid workers learned how to deal with health crises, including snakebites.
A further training session was held for herbicide applicators on Flower Valley Farm at the end of January. This three-day session was presented by Invader Plant Specialists. Applicators learned how to mix herbicide with dye (which marks the areas that have been sprayed), and how to ensure the herbicide works effectively. If not mixed correctly, or if sprayed before heavy rains, herbicide could lose its ability to kill the plant.
The project team is now working with partners, land users and land user groups to plan the second year of clearing. Follow-up will again be prioritised, along with areas of high biodiversity value.