Fifteen schools from various townships on the south of Durban have been awarded for their outstanding innovations in water conservation.
The mission was to come up with ideas that could help save approximately 10 million litres of water. The competition known as “Water for Tomorrow School Awards” is organised by a non-government organisation Triple-P.
It is said that the schools have worked tirelessly to implement projects that will address water leaks, implement innovative solutions and educate learners about the importance of water conservation.
According to the Department of Water and Sanitation, South Africa is a water scarce country and is ranked among Top 40 driest countries in the world.
This is attributed to the country not receiving reliable and adequate rainfall. The situation is said to be worsened by climate change. In addition, water wastage through misuse and leaks, also contributes to revenue losses in schools.
The initiative to conserve water has seen 15 schools benefiting including the repairing of water and sanitation infrastructure. Learners and teachers have also become water ambassadors to sustain the programme.
Triple-P’s managing director, Ntswaki Ditlhale says they have assisted participating schools in fixing leaks in their ablution facilities.
“We are also leaving schools with skills for the school caretaker to continue to maintain the infrastructure because one of the issues that is affecting infrastructure is lack maintenance. We are also leaving schools with a maintenance plan that thy can follow as a guide on how to keep the water infrastructure in a good standard.”
Octalivia Mahlathi, who is a learner from Umgijimi Primary School which is one of the 15 schools that benefitted from the programme, says they have learnt a lot about water conservation.
“Since we have been engaged with Triple-P, we benefitted a lot our school is a no fee paying school and we didn’t have so much money to fix those gaps we have. Umgijimi wasted a lot of water during operational activities, some of the learners washed their hands with taps running, some of them drink water with their hands on the taps, then Triple-P managed to fix those gaps that we had by giving us solution of push taps.”
Umgijimi Primary School principal Mzwakhe Mvubu says the programme changed the lives of learners for the better as they got flushing ablution facilities.
“At the initial stage other toilets were not in good order, they were not working, normally boys’ and girls’ ablution blocks were not working, all of them. They replaced all the toilets and erected the new toilets altogether. We no longer have these taps of opening but these ones of pressing taps and therefore it is a miracle and even the learners appreciate going to the toilets.”
The organisation says it is hoping to reach out to as many schools as possible.
Parents and teachers are also encouraged to play their part in young people from an early age to save each and every drop of water.