Vhembe Biosphere Reserve X Traditional Healers
During arbor month (September 2020) the VBR interacted with the traditional healers from the five (5) district municipality under the biosphere. As important stakeholders the VBR saw it fit to honour the traditional healers with the Pepper bark tree (Warburgia salutaris) which is a very important medicinal plant of their everyday use. This tree species’ conservation status is Endangered in South Africa due to its wide range of medicinal uses, it is highly over-harvested. In addition to the above statement the traditional healers across the landscape highlighted the difficulties of finding this specific species amongst others.
They also showed their outmost gratitude and appreciation to the VBR for the support, mentioning that this was something new and very thoughtful. They also pointed out the difficulties they experienced during the Covid-19 times as they were restricted to go harvest their medicines under the covid regulations which they found unfit. About 250 individual trees of Pepper bark was distributed to the healers as part of their arbor day plantings at their respective homes.
The VBR would like to acknowledge SANParks for donating the 500 Pepper bark trees. All the stakeholders LEDET, VDM and all the local municipality under the VBR for their support during the Pepper bark trees handing over to the traditional healers.