How we can draw on knowledge to answer local questions
you may be working on the case study of the plantations at Mariepskop. You have decided to investigate how this problem is experienced by traditional healers. In Assignment one you have investigated their context by observing and by collecting their stories. You have dug a little deeper by analysing this evidence according to doings, sayings and relatings. Now you will have some idea of what the problem is and the local issues that people are struggling with. You may find that almost everyone you spoke to mentions that the water levels have dropped so much that it is influencing the growth of certain kinds of plants that people use along the river.
The practice that is being effected by the plantations is:
The harvesting of plants used by traditional healers.
The questions may be:
Why are the plants so hard to find?
How can we ensure we have access to them in the future?
To answer the first question you will work with your anchor organisation to develop your case to explain to traditional healers why the growth of certain plants have been effected. You may have a sense that this is due to the plantations but do you know for sure? This is where you need to draw on other knowledge to make sure that your claims that the plantations are effecting traditional healers is true. You can look for information on whether the quantity of water has dropped in the river since the plantations. You may find it that it is true that the river flow has dropped but then again you may also find that this is not the only reason there are less plants. It is also because there has been a high influx of people into the area and more traditional healers are harvesting the plants.
To investigate the second question you may want to look at how other traditional healers in South Africa and even the world are trying to sustainably harvest plants and how other communities have dealt with the negative effects of plantations. You may also want to find out how other people view the problem of the plantations such as a municipal official of a government official. This will give you a bigger picture of the problem and potential solutions which you can then share with traditional healers.