Water Works & Sewage Spills

Part of the May Day for Rivers Campaign is to involve children in learning about why are rivers are so critically important. The RiverWalk team, together with other DUCT members, Eco-Schools, MMAEP and WESSA supported a day of fun activities with learners from Injoloba High, Nogqaza Primary and Howick High whose schools are along the Umgeni River in Howick.

The learners and teams gathered on the edge of Midmar dam and learned about the various alien invasive spp that the walkers had come across along the river and their impact on biodiversity as well as water availability.

While some of the learners did a Mini SASS investigation to determine water quality below the dam wall, the others went for an enlightening tour around the Umgeni water works and were very impressed to learn that 200million litres of water are purified here everyday!

This is enough water to provide everyone from Howick to Pinetown – seems like an awful lot! Those who conducted the mini-SASS were saddened to see that the water quality of the dam was not what they thought – scoring a medium to low 5.

Some light relief was provided at the end of the day when a group of Mphopomeni actors entertained everyone with a funny sketch on how to prevent sewerage spills that are so often caused by blocked drains when people throw the wrong items down the toilet!

Injoloba High Eco-club learners then realised how important it is for them to keep monitoring the pump station outside their school on the banks of the Umgeni where sewage spillages are almost a daily occurrence. Keeping track of these spillages will help to ensure everyone remains accountable to managing  the sewerage treatment plants properly. If we managed to do just that, less money and effort would needed to purify water, not to mention ensuring that the ecology of the Umgeni remains healthy.

submitted by Bridget Ringdahl – National Eco-Schools Programme Manager

Pandora’s thank you for Midmar day: On behalf of the ‘Mayday for Rivers’ Walking team I would like to thank you all so much for your part in making the schools programme at Midmar Dam on Tuesday, the success it was.

  • Thank you Johan for allowing us to use the DWA premises and to Abdulla for making sure all was well.
  • Thanks to Preven and Penz for helping organise the programme and present activities including the water study!
  • Thanks to Wendy and Nkosthinati for the lovely tea and lunch! Our tummies were well catered for.
  • Thanks to Bridget and Sharon for bringing the Mpophomeni Drama group and ferrying learners in the WESSA bus to Umgeni Water for the Water treatment tour.
  • Thanks to the drama group for an eye opening production!
  • Thanks so much to Liz for organising this.
  • Thanks to Nomsa for a lovely programme at Umgeni Water – it was quite fascinating to find out what goes on behind the scenes at the water treatment works!
  •  Thanks to the Midlands Meander Education Project Bugs, Charlene and Julia for bringing learners and helping with the programme – Charlene your activity was a huge hit!
  • I would also like to say a big thank you to the two DWA ladies, Thandi and her colleague!  It was so interesting to hear about bursaries for careers in the water sector.  Johan please can you convey my thanks as I did not take down their contact details.
  • Thanks Louine for supporting the programme, it was lovely to have you there.
  • A huge thank you goes to Clare Peddie of Sharenet for putting together a really stunning DUCT ‘Mayday for Rivers’ Education Pack for schools!
  • Thanks to Port Natal Bird Club for calendars and posters and to DWA and Umgeni Water for resources.
  • Lastly thanks to Caroline and Doug for your support behind the scenes, it is really appreciated.
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About Nikki Brighton

I live in a Magic Cottage near the mist-belt forest with my African dog, Dizzy. We enjoy long walks in the fields to gather wild greens, sitting on the verandah with a pot of tea, and harvesting vegetables outside the kitchen door.
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