Last updateWed, 10 May 2017 2pm


Temvelo Awards

The Temvelo Awards is the concept of Swaziland Environment Authority which aims to educate and enforce environmental principles and laws of the country through the participation of the wider sector of the population in Environmental Management issues. The awards recognise   the people in our community who do their part in taking care of the environment so that it becomes a great place to live.


The awards acknowledge, recognize and honour businesses, organizations, communities and individuals who have demonstrated exceptional environmental stewardship by dedicating themselves and their talents to the protection of the environment. The Temvelo awards program provides competition and incentives to expand and improve environmental protection efforts.


The awards provide a platform for the Authority to engage its stakeholders based on available resources to map out the actualization of the mandate of SEA. The awards will inculcate a culture and a lifestyle of loving and caring for our environment contributing to the road towards vision 2022 by rewarding and encouraging Regions, Tinkhundla, chiefdoms and people who are making an effort to protect the environment. 


B. Objective

The main rationale for hosting the Temvelo Awards is to provide a platform to raise environmental awareness and motivate the nation to be part of the solutions for the country’s environmental problems. 


C. Awards categories

The awards categories speak to the definition of environment as per the Environmental Management Act 2002, which speaks to nature, air, land, water, soils and energy and how humans interact with them. The Categories are as follows:

1.Green Business Initiative Award







Awarded to a business with systems or programme that is responsive to Green Economy.


2.Green Municipality

Awarded to a municipality that has achieved developing solutions using its risk assessment and management expertise, forming strategic partnerships to improve sustainability, as well as service delivery in municipal environment related functions.

3.Water Conservation Award

This award recognizes and honour individuals or entities who dedicate themselves and their talents to the conservation and wise use of water.


4.Energy Efficiency Award

The award is for a product or service that results in energy saving


5.Recycling and Waste Management Award

This award is for an entity that has developed a policy, programme or project that has contributed to a greater public understanding and participation in waste reduction, re-use and recycling


6.Biodiversity Award

The award is for an entity that has a biodiversity protection and rehabilitation programme


7.Climate Change Award

This category recognizes an individual or team who are champions for change, development, implementation, and institutionalization of a sustainability practice to reduce the overall greenhouse gas footprint in support of the climate change goals.  It will be awarded to an entity that has a responsive climate change related adaptation and/or mitigation measures. 


8.Green Tertiary Institution Award

This award recognizes a tertiary institution that has made an effort to educate and adopt the environmental agenda and has further taken the initiative to adopt practices thereto such as recycling, water harvesting, etc.


9.Eco- Primary School  Award

The award is for a primary school that has made an effort to educate and adopt the environmental agenda and has further taken the initiative to adopt practices thereto such as recycling, water harvesting, etc.


10.Eco- Secondary School Award

This award is for a secondary school that has made an effort to educate and adopt the environmental agenda and has further taken the initiative to adopt practices thereto such as recycling, water harvesting, etc.


11.Community Environmental Project Award

This award recognizes a community that has acted collectively to protect, preserve, or restore the Earths life forms, eco-systems, or natural resources


12.Faith Based Organization Award

For a faith based organization contributing towards protecting and improving the environment.


13.Green Parastatal Award

This award is for parastatal with a sound and functional environmental program


14.Entrepreneur’s Award  

This award is for an environmentally friendly product or service that is sustainable and serves the needs of humans whilst being equally beneficial to the environment and its eco-systems


15.Green Government Department Award

The award recognizes a government department with a functional environmental program.


16.Environmental Friendly Healthy Facility Award


b.Heath Centre

c. clinic 

This award is for taking the lead in environmental stewardship and best practices for renovations, green procurement, cleaning, waste disposal and recycling, and provision of green spaces.


17. Media House Award

For media productions that increase public awareness of environmental issues and inspire action on these issues.


18. Environmental Journalist Award

The award is for a journalist, whose published articles represent the best reporting on the Earth’s life forms, eco-systems, or natural resources.


19. Young Eco-Hero  Award

This award will be given to a young individual who is passionate and have understanding of environmental issues and has the ability to inspire students or young people on matters of environmental management. 


20. Lifetime Achievement Award

This award is for an individual, whose actions have conserved, nurtured, defended or restored the Earth’s life forms, eco-systems, or natural resources


D. Adjudication for the awards

Capable and credible adjudicators from Swaziland and neighboring South Africa have taken up the responsibility of selecting the candidates for the different awards. One of the adjudicators is an auditor who will ensure the objectivity and transparency of the whole process.



Wetlands balancing life

Growing plants we can eat and landscapes can use for creating shade and landscapes mankind use for everything. Biodiversity ensures natural sustainability for all life on the planet, people rely on both marine and coastal biodiversity, and some people rely on forest biodiversity. Protecting ecosystem and ensuring access to ecosystem services by poor and vulnerable people can help eliminate extreme poverty and hunger.

Despite being so helpful our diversity is under threat from climate change as a result of invasive species, below we discuss some of the biggest threats facing biodiversity today as well as what farmers and the nation at larger can do to keep them on track.

Climate change

Climate is a major factor in the distribution of species across the globe, climate change forces them to adjust but many are not able to cope causing them to die. Man-made climate change speeds up the process without affording ecosystems the time to adjust but many are not able to cope, causing them to die out as a result of climate change. To help fight this, individuals can reduce carbon foot prints, the government can also provide educate on how to reduce carbon foot prints. Carbon footprints can be anything that contributes to the depletion of the ozone layer which helps in the creation of condensation that normally leads to the formation of clouds that may lead to rains. Farmers should also practice organic farming since it helps restore natural nutrients back into the ground.


Burning fuel fossils release dangerous chemicals into the atmosphere and in some cases, depleting ozone levels. Dumping plastic into rivers and dams every year completely disrupts the Earth’s ecosystems. This does not necessarily cause extinction; pollutants do have the potential to influence species’ habits.

Acid rain, which is typically caused by the burning of fossil fuels, can make water acidic. These smaller bodies negatively affect the species that live there by changing breeding and feeding habits of all inhabitants of the earth.

Over exploitation 

Over hunting, overfishing and over harvesting contribute greatly to the loss of biodiversity, killing off numerous species over the past several hundred years. Poaching and other forms of hunting for profit increase the risk of extinction, the extinction of an apex predator or at the top of a food chain can result in a disastrous significance of the ecosystems. To reduce this laws on conservation and continued awareness surrounding overexploitation, especially poaching and overfishing are key. 

Invasive species

The introduction of invasive spices into the eco system can threaten endemic wildlife affect human health and upset economies. To fight this government introduced systems that helped fight new in-forestations.

Wetlands have become a sorry site when reeds and other crops that should grow in wetlands have been substituted by alien plants. Researchers have revealed that reeds along river banks have been greatly affected by the mushrooming of alien plants. These plants have grown in every piece of wetlands all over the country. A case in point is the disappearance of reeds next to the Cooper Centre has seen an increase of invasive plants. 

These plants have a great effect on the role that wetlands have to play in daily lives of people who reside on planet earth. 


Dry spell sweeping through the country

Some parts of northern Swaziland are already painting a gloomy picture. Big rivers like Phophonyane and Mlumati have become streams. A question that comes to mind is how long the region will assist its people make a living during these difficult times.

Environmentalists owe society an explanation on what happened to reptiles. The sorry sight has seen dams becoming small ponds, there is no glimmer of hope that things will get better anytime soon. Rivers like Komati River and Mlumati were known to be home to most feared animals like crocodiles and hippopotamus. There were signs erected next to these rivers warning people to be on the look-out of these creatures.

Mlumati River was once regarded as crocodile infested river, it was no shock that just before Ngonini Farm Estate there were reports that the owners of the farm placed a safe meant at preventing unwanted objects to find its way to their canal.        

A stroll around the capital has become a sea of green, following a number water tanks have been placed in every corner of the capital city so that tenants of major outlets can have running water to allow locals to be able to answer the call of nature should one feel pressed. Schools have also become deserted zoos.

School gardening projects have become a sorry site and only those schools that have means of drilling boreholes have managed to have water for their learners at the different schools. At one stage tempers when some sectors of society felt the absence of water was not going to create an enabling environment to improve the culture of teaching and learning. 

Donor organisations have come to the rescue of some schools when they donated water tanks. Major sugar mills have also pledged to assist to fill up their tanks with water in some communities. Livestock have died in their thousands and some in a bid to steal hunger away led some cows to eat thatched huts to try and fill up their stomachs.

School going children have become a common sight along roads leading to major sugar mills where they will pick sugar cane dropping from trucks going to the sugar mills. Estimates from the National Disaster Management Agency have indicated that by the end of the year the figure will have reached half a million.

Boreholes were drilled in most parts of the country; some reports have emerged that a number of those boreholes have dried up due as a result that the water table has dried up. One farmer from Ekupheleni west of Mbabane recently said four boreholes have dried up on his farm. Hardware stores are currently making through selling of water tanks.          

As if that is not enough, even areas that were not affected by the dry spell have been reported added to the statistics of areas in dire need of water. Southern part of the country once boosted of enough water underneath. Latest reports have come to the fore that has indicated that Hlatikhulu Dam was at 20 percent of its capacity. Just down the slope at the Ezulwini valley, water levels drastically dropped. Dams like Mnjoli Dam which was once regarded as one of the dams that was not greatly affected. Hawane Dam will run dry should the dry spell persist until the end of the current month. Swaziland Water Services Corporation (SWSC) once indicated that they will be forced to consider using trucks to bring water closer to places like Mbabane where the situation is very serious. Drying up of major rivers led Swaziland Electricity Company (SEC) to suspend hydro-power generation.  

Residents of areas from some of the northern Hhohho indicated that their plight was never into consideration at first by agents tasked with distributing food parcels to drought affected areas. It was almost every part of the country has been greatly affected. They felt neglected but such allegations were scoffed at by communications officer Setsabile Sibisi recently made a passionate plea in an interview with state broadcaster to be patient with her organisation that they started with worst affected areas.       

100 indigenous tree species under threat

Close to 100 indigenous trees may be wiped out if no drastic measures are taken to save them from wood sales and development projects. LUNGA MASUKU looks into some of the trees.

Experts from the department of forestry in the Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism say trees like BPterocapus angolens Wildteak C, Bloodwood, popularly known as Kiaat or Umvangati under threat, well, among many others!

They said these critically endangered trees can be found in some parts of the country, Sibhaha Umdumezulu are some of the trees reportedly found in northern Swaziland at Herefords, Mlawula and Sinceni. Libhuma whose scientific name is known as Typha Capenssis and Libangalala known as Eriosema cannot be easily detected they are usually used to boost men’s libido and also for treating women ailments.

Vendors have been making a killing through the sale of products made out of Umvangati; some of the products have been exported to overseas countries in turn generating foreign currency for the vendors. 

Umdumezulu or African Almond/Red Stinkwood can be as tall as 25 metres in height, can be a lovely shade tree. It is found in central Swaziland with some patches along the Lubombo escarpment. It can be used for treating prostate cancer.

Sibhaha or Pepperteak tree grows on rocky and dry areas like Herefords, Sinceni, Gundvwini, Ngudzeni, some parts of the Lubombo escarpment. It can be used for treating coughs and colds. It has a peppery smell when crushed and it has been destroyed in most parts of the country because of over harvesting.        

Umkhaya or Black Monkey Thorn: It is usually found in most parts of the country and it can be used for treating eye and back complaints. 

Boophane Distica/Incumbe or Siphahluka it grows on rocky areas and it can be used for plugging sour milk containers. Its bulb is poisonous to stock; it can be used in game hunting. Medically, it is used to treat pain woods and narcotics. It is currently found in almost parts of the country but greatly endangered.   

Cassipourea Swaziniens is sometimes known as Swazi Onion wood. Its distribution is very restricted because it is only found around Mhlosheni on your way to Pigg’s Peak, about two kilometres of Mbabane, Nhlangano and Nsongweni. It is nearing extinction. In neighbouring South Africa it is only found in some parts of the Mpumalanga Province and in northern Kwazulu Natal.

Encephalartos spp (Cycads) its SiSwati name is Gebeleweni, it is mostly found along the Lubombo escarpment. Due to its high usage it is now limited and is regarded as a protective charm considered to be a lightening conductor.      

Combretum imberte wawra its SiSwati name is Umphulumbu or Phondvolowendlovu, it is critically endangered and it is usually is open bushvelds. It can grow up to 20 metres high. Mainly used for fencing, furniture making, pine props and fire wood. It is critically endegared. It is found in protected areas and lowveld parts of the country.

Combretum molle R.Br ex G.Don its common name is velvet Bushwillow or Imbondvo lemnyama. It can be used as traditional medicine to treat snake bite and its roots for treating infertility, abortions and constipation. It is critically endangered.

Scierocarya birrea (Hoschst. Ssp caffra (Sond) Kwakwaro common name is marula its Siswati name is Umganu. Widespread in Swaziland’s geographic regions. It can be used as food, beverages production, medicinal uses and cultural uses.

Siphonochilus aethipicus (Schweinf) B.L Burtt its Siswati name is known as Sidvungula. It is found around Malolotja subpopulation is well known and utilised by local herbalists, even though it is found protected areas like game reserves.  

Typha capensis its Siswati name is Libhuma and is found in riverine environments known to occur in the Highveld of Swaziland. It can be used as an Aesthetic.

Hypoxis spp or Inkhofu lenkhulu is normally found mainly in the Highveld and Middleveld regions of the country in protected areas. It can be used for treating cancers, inflammation, HIV, headaches, mental disorders and in western medicines. Its leaves can be used for making ropes.   

Some of the plants under a schedule of trees under threat consist of about 94 plants regarded as endangered or protected flora. These trees include Umphahluka, Umkholikholi, Bunkhutfu, Umhhohlo, Incumbe or Siphahluka. Other trees are only found in the country but they have found their way to other parts of Africa.    

Trees like Umkhanyakudze popularly as Acacia xathrophlea Benth and Sihlakahla and Sivangatane, Sisila Semphala and Likhatsatwane. These trees may be found in most parts of the country but they also face extension if no drastic measures will be taken to protect them. Some trees have to be transferred to category A because they were under severe threat from people who destroy these trees for traditional medicine and other uses. 

Libangalala or Eriocsema is one tree that traditional healers like using for making their concoctions to help men who want to be sexually active. Such trees cannot be easily detected but were found in most parts of the country. Uncontrolled grass fires have contributed to the introduction of alien plants. Deforestation is partly to blame for the widespread of invasive plants. Efforts have been employed by the ministry to save these trees.   

Development leads to introduction of alien trees

Looking at the place behind the country’s main supermarket at the Mall, alien trees have grown in recent years. Experts from the Forestry Department in the Ministry of Environmental Affairs and Tourism painted a gloomy picture about the presence of alien trees. 

Senior Forest Officer, Solomon Gamedze indicated that there were measures that were being taken to try and address the challenges faced by the country. Gamedze said trees is locally known Gwayana or its known as Bug Weed, another invasive plant is Lantana which is popularly as Mehlo akati has been spotted in wetlands. 

A new project is currently under construction in Malkerns where a village supposed to be known as Umvangati Village. The name of the village came after a lot of lot these trees grew in the vicinity of the area.      

He attributed the invasion to the destruction of natural trees that were previously found along the banks of the Mbabane River. Uncontrolled grass fires have also contributed to the increase of alien plants. Institutions like the University of Swaziland have come up with an initiative that has seen them growing some indigenous trees just before Mafutseni. This was the brainchild of former vice chancellor Professor Lydia Makhubu who authored a titled Traditional Medicine and Healing.

A wild fire act needs to be looked into because the act has been around to over 60 years and this was because in recent years the country has seen a number of communities burnt by uncontrolled grass fires. Wattle trees have not been spurred because of the advent of companies producing charcoal. Burnt roots of some grass find themselves exposed to soil erosion whenever there are heavy floods in areas that have been burnt before the first rains.    

Measures are currently under way to ensure that companies in the business of making charcoal were under the watchful eye of the forestry department.