National Water Week 2014: “Water is Life”
In South Africa, National Water Week is an initiative by the Department of Water Affairs (DWA) to raise awareness on this valuable resource. This campaign highlights the importance of water and the need to sustainably manage water resources. The awareness week campaign took place from the 17th to the 23rd of March 2014 with the theme “Water is Life…” As the custodian of our water, DWA has provided water to millions of South Africans. This awareness also emphasises on the responsibility of every citizen in ensuring the protection and saving of our water resources thus maintaining the integrity of this resource.
In celebration of Water Week, the Nature’s Valley Trust (NVT) in partnership with SANParks, the DWA, the ORCA Foundation and Lunchbox theatre coordinated an environmental education programme for three schools in the Eastern Cape. This was a three day programme that took place at Storms River Mouth, the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden RouteNational Park. On each day we hosted grade 7 learners from Woodlands Primary, Clarkson Primary and Amamfengu Primary.
Each day began with Lunchbox theatre performing a play on the importance of water and how to save water. The show was enjoyed by all the learners and it was a fun and interactive way to learn about this precious resource. Lessons run by NVT and SANParks were divided into four stations, each station covering a different topic with relation to water. The first station’s topic was water quality and maintenance, which taught learners about the threats to water, how a healthy river benefits us, as well as a small demonstration in understanding pH as a water quality parameter. Station two covered water and climate change, that is, how climate change affects the water cycle and ultimately water supply. The third station looked at Marine Protected Areas (MPA’s). Learners were taught about what an MPA is, as well as threats to marine life. The last station educated learners about freshwater food webs and why the sun is important to these food webs.
After a day filled with fun learning and water saving tips, learners were provided with meals sponsored by DWA. NVT would like to thank everyone that was involved in this programme, for their support and assistance during our Water Week celebration. A take home message was the importance of water, that it is a limited resource which all people as well as the ecosystems need and that it should be protected for now and the future.