4 April 2013 - During March, South Africa celebrated National Water Week with the goal of reinforcing the value of water, the need for the sustainable management of this scarce resource and the role water plays in eradicating poverty and under-development in South Africa.
The week saw the launch of multiple campaigns around conserving water – as well as a number of news stories about the dry reality of the country’s water situation.
Aurecon – together with the Western Cape Regional office of the Department of Water Affairs, water specialists and a local adventurer – decided to make a real difference during this week by focusing on educating learners.
“Learners are the best educators and they are able to change the mind-set of their families and an entire community,” said Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi.
In line with this, Aurecon treated Claremont High School’s Grade 8 Environmental Club to a 2-day water workshop filled with practical and interesting presentations as well as an excursion to the Liesbeek River at Bishop Park where the pupils learnt about water quality, habitat assessment and monitoring techniques.
The workshop also included a talk by Aurecon’s Sam Braid, an Integrated Water Resources Management Specialist, who explained the long-term effects of litter on South African marine life.
Well-known adventurer Ray Chaplin also attended the event and told the learners about his upcoming riverboard decent which will see him take water samples throughout the Orange River – South Africa’s largest water catchment – to raise awareness around water quality issues.
“All successful societies have one thing in common – they invested in education,” said President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation address on February 14, 2013. Aurecon understands that South Africa’s future engineers, water analysts and leaders are currently in classrooms, which is why it took a decision to arrange an event which would give learners the information they need to make a real difference.