Heatherlands High School learners excel at water conservation
28 July 2022
Two Grade 10 learners from Heatherlands High School in George, Unam Halam and Faith Claasen, will be participating in the Stockholm Junior Water Prize in Sweden after being named the overall winners of the South African Youth Water Prize.
The Department of Water and Sanitation hosts the competition annually to inspire learners to find sustainable solutions to water sector challenges.
Unam and Faith had personal experience of hundreds of litres of water being wasted every day from one tap that was not closed properly by fellow learners. The water wastage also impacted the school’s water account and the enterprising duo invented a device that can fit onto a tap and stop water wastage immediately.
The device is cost effective and easy to replicate. The user must push a lever to allow the water to flow. When the lever is released, the flow of water stops.
Their resourcefulness impressed the judges and earned them a fully paid bursary to study any water related field at a university in South Africa, prize money and an opportunity to represent the country in Sweden at the end of August to compete with learners from 30 countries.
Zanele Bila-Mupariwa, The Head of the Department of Water and Sanitation in the Western Cape, visited the school to congratulate the learners on their achievement. She said the province was hit hard by the drought in 2017 and it was reassuring when schools come up with innovative ideas that can be implemented throughout the country. “If they can reach such milestones at a young age, as government, at all spheres, we really must do our best that we do not fail them and the communities they represent.”
The learners are excited to take part in the World Water Week celebrations in Sweden. They will be accompanied by a teacher at their school, Marissa Murphy.