GREATER Edendale Mall (GEM) partnered with the Liberty non-profit organisation to celebrate World Wetlands Day last Thursday. This was an initiative organised to teach pupils about the sustainability of healthy wetlands.Wetlands Day is celebrated worldwide annually on February 2; it was established to raise awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet.Three hundred pupils from 10 different schools in Edendale attended the celebration where they were taught about the environment and the importance of keeping it healthy through theory and practical workshops. They also got a chance to watch the environmental documentary The River Gives that was shot in Edendale. Mlungisi Ntuli, founder of the Liberty NPO, said the initiative was done to encourage pupils and the community to assist in rehabilitating the 40 degraded wetlands around the greater Edendale area.“The main aim is to teach pupils about the importance of wetlands and encourage them to go back to their community and implement what they have learnt. It is very important for all of us to look after the wetlands near us and make sure that they are healthy. “Edendale has about 40 wetlands but only one is in a good condition, the rest are affected. We want to teach these children so that they are able to take care of the wetlands around their schools,” he said. GEM Marketing Manager Sonya Caldecott said this year they structured things differently as they split each school into theory and practical groups.“Theory was done within a shop through presentations by the environmentalists and the practicals were conducted in our wetland by the stakeholders involved. This year we concentrated more on the educational aspect. “We are going to do follow-ups at the schools that we invited that are near wetlands. We want them to be pro-active and be actively involved in these wetlands to help DUCT and other stakeholders to start introducing healthy river systems in Edendale, which is ultimately the reason why I started all of this, to feed better quality water to the Duzi,” she said. Caldecott added that they are focusing on schools that are in the wetlands because they want to see the results after teaching the children. To end off, Caldecott extended thanks to sponsors Issa Cash Loans for helping to make the event possible.