Ebomvini Primary’s Water Explorer team from Izingolweni, South Coast once again made waves as they were recognised for their incredible commitment to sustainability practices by winning the youth category of the World Water Food and Air Awards (WAFA). On Thursday 7 February HRH Princess Zama Zulu presented the school this International award (www.wafaward.org) for their outstanding contribution that has not only benefitted their school, but their community.
“We are honoured to receive the WAFA award, it is so important that we look after our water resources and biodiversity as this will in turn ensure our food security in the future. WAFA inspires us to continue our efforts to help develop learners into caring citizens who value their natural environment” said Poppy George one of the educators.
Amidst the jubilation and celebration there was a very serious angle to the day as the Princess was taken on a guided walk around the school to see what kind of action projects Ebomvini had undertaken. Some of the projects on show was the pond they built to attract frogs into their permaculture garden. Maintaining the garden with grey water and mulching to prevent evaporation was an aspect that two of the learners explained was a key water saving activity of the school. They explained and showed how tippy taps were always available for washing hands and the drinking buckets and cups are in every class so water wastage is minimised.
HRH Princess Zama was humbled and honoured to be presenting the award to such an inspiring team. “You are all a ray of light and hope not just for your school and community but for the whole world. I am deeply impressed by the knowledge around environmental issues the learners have demonstrated as well as their innovation, the eco-brick furniture is fantastic!”
At the end of last year their Water Explorer team was recognised as South Africa’s top Water Explorer team by an expert panel of sustainability specialists. They then went on to represent South Africa at the International Water Explorer event in London and were awarded the Innovation and Student’s Choice award. Since then, they have spoken on Radio Stations like Ukhozi FM, been filmed by SABC 3’s 50/50 and appeared on ENCA news and featured in many newspapers.
Their newfound fame has, however not distracted them from their mission, as Water Explorer coordinator and teacher Youth Mavundla says, “we are so grateful for the recognition and experiences we have had through our efforts, but it is not about the awards, it is about sustaining what we have started and inspiring other schools and people to get on board”
WAFA (wafawards.org) recognises and promotes sustainable solutions that ensure safe drinking water, clean air and food for all.