Before the competition, the staff members of Kanye Education centre and the South East District Spelling Bee Committee members were kind enough to give a tour of Pharing Gorge and Makgodumo Dam.
The Makgodumo site is abundant in bird species and wild animals such as leopards, baboons, monkeys and snakes. (Unfortunately or fortunately, we did not get to see any of them). The Makgodumo dam is situated here and is a good place to decompress and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding environment.
Another place situated in the area is the Pharing Gorge which resembles a water fall. Before the drought, water was abundant throughout the year and hence the existence of the dam.
The Pharing Gorge is situated next to a hill. A tree and flower nursery is situated in the area. A very informative discussion was given on the harvesting of manure (which is taken from the hill during rainy season). This is mostly leaves and organic soil. It is treated and prepared for planting the trees cuttings and flower seedlings. When the soil is ready, plots are prepared for planting. Soil is put in the black plastics with holes to enhance ventilation. The plants in the black plastics are shifted from either the sunshine to the shade depending on how well they are growing. The plants are later sold to the public or other nurseries.
The soil used is strictly organic; it is only on rare occasions that fertilizer is added.
Many questions were asked and answered. Not many challenges are faced, besides snakes. However, if the snakes are handled with caution, no harm befalls them.
Not much was said about the Bird Sanctuary besides a wide variety of birds visiting the dam everyday.
A stall for the National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) was available with well prepared information on what services they provide. It is a research site for biotechnology, biochemistry and food science. They run short causes to train citizens how to make food samples/supplements to start their own businesses, especially young entrepreneurs
Compiled by A. Jansen