“The most enjoyable aspect of the internship has been the communication with different stakeholders during field visits. Interacting with these people makes me understand problems that are faced by different water users and trying to find solutions with them is so fulfilling.”
Fhumulani was born the first of three siblings in Venda in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Growing up she was inspired by three generations of hardworking and passionate women in her family: a great-grandmother who was a potter, a grandmother who was a farm worker but still found the time to tell her grandchildren traditional stories, and a mother who is influential in the health sector in Limpopo. When Fhumulani isn’t spending time outdoors she enjoys listening to afro-soul, jazz and reggae.
Hydrology and water resources were not Fhumlani’s first choice of study (she initially wanted to study advertising), but once she registered and learned the different dynamics of water, its significance and its relation to the environment, she fell in love with it. She has attained Bachelor and Honours degrees in Earth Sciences in Hydrology and Water Resources from the University of Venda. She is in the final year of her Masters in the same subject. Her research focuses on utilising and managing water for the sustainable farming of macadamia nuts in the Limpopo Province.
Fhumulani’s current position in the Freshwater Programme at WWF-SA involves research, data collection and stakeholder engagement. She is working on an integrated catchment management project in the Limpopo River Basin. Her research considers management options for water in this area, shared as it is by four countries. She is currently compiling a report on different water usage and their impacts in the basin.
Fhumulani would like to enroll for a PhD within the next three years. After completion of her studies she would like to work within academia or in any research institution that conducts groundbreaking water-related research. She hopes that her PhD will allow her to publish and disseminate her findings at a high level and by doing so share with a large group of people about water and the environmental issues and challenges that we are faced with in this generation, thereby helping to promote conservation of our beautiful environment.