Environment education furthered

2015-06-10 06:00
Photos: supplied
KwaGumbi Primary pupils learn about rivers and streams during a presentation at Umbogavango Nature Reserve.

Photos: supplied KwaGumbi Primary pupils learn about rivers and streams during a presentation at Umbogavango Nature Reserve.

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PUPILS from KwaGumbi Primary recently visited Umbogavango Nature Reserve, joining a record number of school parties that have visited the reserve this year, with 2 000 children visiting the reserve.

“In June alone there were 11 school parties with 450 children,” Chris Skinner said.

Toti Conservancy also launched its “mini-Sass” (SA Scoring System) programme for schools, during this visit to the nature reserve. “This is the first step in a conservancy project aimed at involving three schools in our area and getting them to conduct a mini-Sass project at a point in the Amanzimtoti River. The other schools were Toti Primary and KwaThambo from KwaMakhutha. “We had about 10 pupils, three teachers and three parents in the group as well as six people who had done the training previously and who could assist pupils,” Toti Conservancy chairman Laura Taylor said.

The mini-Sass is a citizen’s science and serves as a bio-monitoring tool, designed to support the community in reporting on the ecological health of streams and rivers.

“We had a presentation at Umbogavango and then went to the same spot on the Toti River, where we conducted a mini-Sass before to do the practical. We had two teams and again the score results for both was the river is in poor condition,” Taylor said.

“Schools that are part of the project will conduct the mini- Sass exercise at least three times during 2015 and then do a presentation to the Toti Conservancy of their results. The project has been sponsored by the Amanzimtoti Sports Club and prizes will be awarded in October,” said Taylor.

“This exercise will provide valuable education for the children involved as well as giving us a better idea of the condition of our river. This will form part of an on-going mini-Sass project for our river,” said Taylor.

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