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KZN schools cook up a storm with solar ovens

Pupils from Inzuzwenhle Primary show that a simple solar oven built mainly from recyclables, using energy from the sun, can produce tasty, slow cooked ‘carbon-free’ meals. Picture by Bridget Ringdahl

As part of the Water Explorer: Global Search for Sustainable Schools (GSS) programme, many schools in the KZN Midlands and beyond, have joined the global wave of school strikes for climate change.

Julia Invernizzi, a facilitator working with the African Conservation Trust, believes that “Learning about climate change is insufficient if we don’t make significant changes in the legislative system through pressurising government to set targets and maintain accountability. Only then can we make the progress necessary to really tackle the climate emergency.”

Pupils all over the country are witnessing suffering that a changing climate will bring. Some have run out of water, while other schools which have food growing programmes have remarked that unseasonably hot weather has wreaked havoc with their planting schedules.

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This, unfortunately, will become an increasing reality in the context of a 4% rise in greenhouse gasses despite the signing of the landmark Paris agreement in 2015.

While combating the climate crisis requires a united global shift in current economic and political systems, Water Explorer/GSS children refuse to be overwhelmed or deterred by the inaction of our leaders. They are standing up and fighting for their future.

One of the practical interventions that schools participating in the WE/GSS have made, to curb their personal carbon footprint, involved learning about and practising solar cooking. With an abundance of sunshine and technology to support it, there is no excuse for South Africa to continue on its dirty fossil fuel pathway.

Water Explorer expressed its thanks to Howick Mirror and Glass, for donating some of the glass sheets necessary to make these functional solar ovens. This has enabled the programme to extend limited resources and benefit more than 20 schools and about 800 pupils in Pietermaritzburg, Durban, the Berg and Ixopo.

*The Global Search for Sustainable Schools (GSS) project is supported by IGES, UNEP and the Ministry of Environment Japan and is implemented by local partner, ACT (African Conservation Trust).

See www.waterexplorer.org/south-africa for more inspiring stories of what schools are doing. – Text supplied by Water Explorer

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