Grade 6 learners from Bokmakierie Primary School in Athlone celebrated World Water Day on Thursday by visiting the Westlake Conservation Centre.
The purpose of their visit was to participate in learning about water conservation and their role in protecting this valuable resource.
This year’s World Water Day theme is “Nature for water: nature-based solutions for water”.
Their visit to the biological control mass rearing facility forms part of the larger “Save our Waters” conservation educational outreach programme that has been running at various schools this week.
Mayco member (South) Eddie Andrews visited the Westlake Conservation Centre and said he is pleased with the Environmental Management Department’s ongoing efforts to educate young people about the importance of saving water.
“The water conservation educational programmes are very important as they play an integral role in educating our young people about the value of water in our ecosystems and their role in conserving water. These interactive programmes also equip our young people with the necessary knowledge they will need in order to make good choices that will contribute towards conserving our valuable resource,” he said.
The interactive sessions covered a variety of topics including a discussion on why we need water; the role of plants and animals in a water ecosystem; and the threats to a water ecosystem, such as water pollution, urban development, erosion, climate change, invasive species and overfishing.
The learners were also reminded about their responsibility to conserve water and water ecosystems by:
. reducing pollution (by means of reducing, reusing and recycling; reporting illegal dumping; and trying to reduce or eliminate the use of household chemicals that may make their way into waterways and hurt the environment and rather trying to use self-made detergents like vinegar and bicarbonate of soda)
. adopting a “green” attitude in order to reduce their carbon footprint
. environmental awareness and education
. planting indigenous species
. reporting and controlling invasive alien species
. saving water on a daily basis in their homes and at their schools
“Generally, if we change how we view water and understand its value in our environment, this change will translate into our behaviour and decisions.
“We really trust that through these ongoing educational programmes, our young people are being inspired to be water heroes and that they will not only make a difference in their homes and schools but also in their communities and in the environment. Everyone has a role to play so let us work together to conserve our valuable resource,” concluded Andrews.