At WESSA we have a lot of good stories about our love of water, as we are very passionate about water conservation, and have been for quite some time. However, the main ‘for love of water’ story that we want to share is something recent, which we are extremely excited about and proud to be part of.
After many years of learning about the various environmental issues we face in South Africa, and how we can prevent or reduce them, we have been appointed by the Local Government Skills Education Training Authority to work with, train and educate government and municipal officials on these issues, with a large focus on water conservation. This means that we will be able to provide skills training to all levels of government personnel nationwide, to build capacity to manage environmental issues with the respect they deserve. We will then also be able to teach them how they can put this information into practice and lead by example so that others can follow.
We are very passionate about enabling all South Africans to understand and become involved in all issues relating to water quality and availability, and to do their bit to make a difference. We are therefore very excited about the opportunity to co-construct, with our government officials, new values about water as a scarce resource, and to share this knowledge to improve community understanding of the importance of conserving water resources.
For over 85 years, our NGO has worked hard to ensure environmental sustainability for current and future South African generations. A lot of our attention has been focused on water conservation, and as a result of this we have developed an umbrella programme, Catchments to Coast, which aims to ensure that there is wise use of our water resources, “thus securing a safe, adequate and fair water supply for South Africa’s people and natural environment”. Within this, we have projects such as the Blue Flag Project, Coastwatch, the Mondi Wetlands Programme and the BSI/WESSA Vaal Canoe Marathon, housed under the greater Celebrating our Rivers project, which are all geared towards improving water awareness and conservation within South Africa.
Every day the members of WESSA gain more and more respect for the precious resource that is water, and with this, our drive to educate and empower South Africans to change their attitude towards water increases too.
Through our individual and collective efforts to do what we can to conserve the water we are fortunate to have access to, and to provide those who do not have access to water with safe water, we hope to encourage other South Africans to do the same. www.wessa.org.za