Save Our Schools – Innovative Ideas to Reduce the Impact of the Cape Town Water Crisis
Retirementor, Jeunesse Park, shares her involvement with an organisation which has innovative ideas to reduce the impact of the Cape Town water crisis on the quality of education and the well-being of our children. This article serves as both warning and inspiration – work together and we can mitigate the effects of climate change.
After years of dreaming about living in Cape Town, I finally moved there just as it became one of the first major cities in the world to be running out of water.
Frustrated that the government was slow to act, I was delighted to be contacted by a new non-profit organisation, Save our Schools (SOS), who have some innovative ideas. They were introduced to me through my work with Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project and I joined them on World Water Day in March 2018.
In response to the negative impact water shortages have on sport and hygiene at schools, SOS has grown into a multi stakeholder network providing innovative water solutions for those in need. The hard-working SOS founders have achieved remarkable results in just one year, thanks to collaborative and dynamic partnerships.
Swish Properties was a first responder, providing non-potable water from the hundreds of thousands of litres they daily pump out of the basement of one of their properties. Isuzu constructed and has equipped SOS with 10 water tankers to transport tanks and water, as well as providing vehicles to facilitate the work. JoJo Tanks provides schools with water storage tanks and pump manufacturers Grundfos installs booster pumps and sets for SOS projects. Unilever donated an additional 35 water tanks and contributed to awareness events. Insurers Munich Re provided thousands of litres of bottled drinking water for schools and communities and Mountain Falls Spring Water has created a special SOS bottled water.
The SOS team now includes a pool of internationally influential climate leaders, government and media partners, successful multinational companies, entrepreneurs, education and development leaders, engineers, water specialists and more.
Projects start with the delivery of water and the associated infrastructure to those in need and are buoyed by awareness, education and enterprise development initiatives.
Whilst the winter rains finally arrived in Cape Town, restrictions are still in place and climate scientists, water experts, insurance companies, activists and others warn that this is only the beginning.
Climate change will continue to wreak havoc on world weather.
The dire impacts of the water restrictions on the economy, tourism, agriculture and much else that contributes to our quality of life in Cape Town and South Africa, are already being realised.
We need to work together to build water resilient communities.