Educating Learners on the Importance of Fresh Water
On a lovely, hot summer’s day in Franschhoek, 55 grade six and seven learners from five primary schools were invited by the Western Cape Government Environmental Affairs and Development Planning to participate in the 'Too Precious to Pollute' (2P2P) campaign to start the celebrations of Water Week which takes place from 16-22 March.
The beautiful Riverside Picnic area, aptly located along the banks of the Berg River, hosted the event for the following local primary schools. The programme consisted of a mini-SASS (South African Scoring System) water quality test, water games and puzzles. Jason Mingo, Task Manager for the Berg River Improvement Plan gave a hands-on study of the aquatic insect life along the Berg River to indicate water quality to learners while Environmental Management Inspectors kept students engaged with puzzles and quizzes on the importance of conserving our previous fresh water rivers.
Zayed Brown, Pollution Monitoring and Information Management (PMIM), said: “It’s important to educate learners on how we sustainably manage our available water resources and not allow any pollution which will impact our socio-economic wellbeing. Television, radio and other media campaigns are a big help, but we need to target the impressionable ones from an early stage. Water is a precious resource and polluted water impacts economic advancement; for instance, the extra expense to purify water which should not have been polluted in the first place, are just some of the vital messages that we want to communicate through programmes such as these.”
Prizes were given to the top students in each of the activity sections as well as an overall prize for the best school who took part.
As a token of appreciation, teachers were given Kirstenbosch vouchers and each school was given a box filled with books to expand their library resources.
International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and promoting the sustainable management of fresh water resources. Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater, the theme for 2015 is Water and Sustainable Development and will serve to highlight water's role in the sustainable development agenda.