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Learning about water conservation

Water is an important resource that is becoming scarce by the day. Here are some ways to conserve this necessary resource.

WATER conservation is imperative as South Africa is a water-scarce nation that is continuously running out of water, and more so as time progresses. Water is a right – according to the South African Constitution, everyone has the right to sufficient food and water. 

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According to the department of Water and Sanitation in the eThekwini Municipality, available water in our city is limited, and yet, the population continues to grow. “So the reality is that in the next 20 years, South Africa will move from being a water-stressed country to a water-scarce country. Despite the recent minor rainfall, drought remains a serious concern. The rainfall level we get is insufficient for the population in South Africa.” 

The municipality has developed programmes to address a number of challenges, including the misuse and wastage of water, high levels of non-revenue water, drought awareness, vandalism, sewer blockages and the presence of waterborne diseases, such as cholera.  The target group for the programmes includes poor (vulnerable) communities in both rural and peri-urban areas. Schools and communities need to become actively involved in the water-management education programmes, which are listed below:

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  • School Presentations: We promote good practices of water and sanitation management, recycling of wastewater and re-use of greywater, rainwater harvesting, the celebration of special calendar days, etc. Presentations are also conducted using our street-theatre team and our water mascot (Consi). The main aim is to educate learners about various environmental issues that we grapple with on a daily basis.
  • Educators Workshops: Educators are made aware of our education programmes through workshops. This is where they receive first-hand information on correct water and wastewater management practices. This is another way we link our educational activities with the school curriculum.
  • Community/Public Participation: We aim to improve community interaction to ensure the sustainability of water systems.
  • Water Detectives Programme: Ensuring a water-wise school by promoting water and sanitation management by taking action through active learning. 
  • Green Rivers: Preventing pollution and taking back our rivers to promote sustainable water use and improve water quality.

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  • Enviro-Forums (Masakhane and Sukuma Sakhe): These forums are established with the purpose of achieving a greater degree of coordination and effectiveness on various issues, especially those of an environmental nature. The forum is inclusive of business proprietors, health organisations, members of the public, and councillors.
  • Door-to-Door: To educate residents on proper water management. This programme aims at addressing complaints, environmental impacts, etc.
  • Special Days: This is a general name given to days or weeks that have been set aside to mark a particular aspect of the environment. Prominent among these are Water Week, Sanitation Week, World Environment Day, Arbor Day and National Clean-up Week.
  • Take a Girl Child to Work: Learners are exposed to a variety of careers with special reference to the engineering field of study, motivational talks and life-learning experiences by speakers from different departments. Build-up activities are conducted prior to the actual day, eg, one-on-one interviews with the girls.
  • Clean-up Campaigns: After the identification of illegal dumps in streams, in order to ensure sustainability and prevent water pollution, clean-up campaigns are conducted in collaboration with different departments. These clean-up campaigns involve communities and other stakeholders. 
  • Exhibitions: Career-guidance fairs, sustainable-living exhibitions, blitzes to promote the importance of water conservation, health and hygiene, and promoting careers that are related to the water and sanitation industry.

 ALSO READ: Children’s home enters fourth month with no water

Special Projects:

  • Drought Awareness Campaign: Targeting Malls, airports, government departments, etc, to create awareness of the drought effects and water restrictions.
  • Any additional information that the public should know on water conservation

You can go to the municipality’s website for more information: https://www.durban.gov.za/pages/residents/programmes-and-policies

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