Scottsville Primary are Champ Water Explorers

Scottsville Primary are Champ Water Explorers

The Water Explorer Programme is an online, fun, inspiring and educational programme that empowers students to lead joint action on water issues. Schools earn points as they complete a variety of water challenges. Through their efforts to manage their water resources more wisely they stand to win many appropriate prizes that will assist them further in achieving their water goals.

Each year every participating country selects their top five schools, one of which is nominated as the National Winner. The top five South African schools selected this year were Danville Park Girls High and Wyebank Secondary in Durban, Scottsville Primary in Pietermaritzburg, John Wesley Primary in Eshowe, and The Birches Pre-Primary in Pinetown. All of the selected schools presented their water saving projects at the awards event.

Scottsville Primary, ‘Explorers who Care” team were one of the top 5 schools for South Africa and were exemplary in the way that the whole school, from Gr1 to Gr 7, got involved in water explorer challenges.

Scottsville Primary, ‘Explorers who Care” team were one of the top 5 schools for South Africa

Scottsville Primary, ‘Explorers who Care” team were one of the top 5 schools for South Africa

This inspiring example of an Eco-School has a history of environmental action spanning 14 years, took their challenges seriously and delved into issues like secret water, the hidden water in everything we eat and use. They learned for example that one kg of beef needs 12 000l of water, in comparison to vegetables, where 1kg of vegetables only uses 190l. By choosing a diet that is less meat intensive will save a lot of water. As a result many learners at the school committed to eating less meat. Another shocking fact related to our clothing – a pair of denims requires 10 500 litres of water to make! This persuaded the team to do a Water Swap. Learners brought clothes and toys that they were now tired of, and swopped them with classmates so that they could have something ‘new’ while consuming more by buying new stuff!

Carmen Cawood, the coordinator of the programme at Scottsville Primary, commented on how the programme had really united their school in their water saving efforts, as each class could take on a specific challenge.

The fun online nature of Water Explorer is also instantly rewarding as the children see the result of their efforts in the form of points which help to ‘replenish’ their virtual reservoir. They also loved being reporters and seeing their write-ups and photographs on the website.”

Scottsville Primary’s festival reached out to 3000 people, 1200 attended the festival and 1100 made personal water pledges

Scottsville Primary’s festival reached out to 3000 people, 1200 attended the festival and 1100 made personal water pledges

Every year the top 15 Water Explorer schools are awarded a ‘Water Festival” which is a celebration and sharing of their water projects, to their school and a wider community. They also win money toward their eco-projects. Scottsville Primary’s festival reached out to 3000 people, 1200 attended the festival and 1100 made personal water pledges. On the day each child bought a 2 litre bottle containing water to school to sustain them for the day. Blue ribbons were tied around all the taps to remind everyone not to use tap water. There were no reports that taps were opened, and many reported back that they had used all their water by the end of the school day. The team presented all their projects and water saving efforts in a fun and interactive way and showed how, over the months their ‘reservoir’ gradually filled up.

At the National Water Explorer Event held on the 3rd September, Scotsville Primary were selected as one of the top 5 in South Africa and were awarded another R5000.

WESSA will be implementing the Water Explorer programme for a second year in South Africa, providing an important and engaging response for schools to address the serious water scarcity challenges that our country is experiencing. Interested schools can register for free at www.waterexplorer.org