GREATER Edendale Mall celebrates its third annual World Wetlands day on February 1 along with their stakeholders, Liberty Non-Profit Organisation and leading environmental organisations.Wetlands continue to be a vital part of our eco-system as they help to mitigate floods and contribute to climate change resilience. “It is extremely important to continue to educate our communities to avoid flash floods, such as were experienced in the Edendale area in December,” said Sonya Caldecott, marketing manager of Greater Edendale Mall.Mlu Ntuli, chairperson of Msunduzi Catchment Management Forum and owner of Liberty NPO, said: “The biggest challenge when it comes to the protection of our wetlands is the pollution, dumping of litter and people building on the wetlands. Addressing these challenges must start with local community members and businesses who are either near or on these wetlands and river systems.“The annual event attracts over 300 local students that participate in an educational tour of the fully functional wetland-based at Greater Edendale Mall. Learners walk the wetland while environmental organisations educate them about the importance of wetlands and river health. These students also enjoy a theory session indoors to increase the awareness of such a vital eco-system.”We hope this event will continue to inspire schools and the community at large to co-manage local wetlands and river systems.Building awareness around eco-systems, river health and wetlands is a very challenging cause and lengthy project only due to the lack of the general society’s willingness to change their attitudes towards wetlands and river systems. — Supplied.