Let’s mobilize, forget the politics and save more water now

Let’s mobilize, forget the politics and save more water now, writes Yusuf Abramjee

Over 120 #SaveWater Ambassadors have pledged to do their bit and create awareness in an attempt to avoid “Day Zero”.

The initiative was launched in Cape Town recently – a partnership between the Department of Water and Sanitation, Operation SA and Miss Earth South Africa.

Over the coming weeks, more Ambassadors will join-in because we need to intensify the #SaveWater drive.

The Cape Argus needs to be saluted for driving education and awareness with its #EveryDropCount campaign.

Great also to see other media houses creating awareness. Heart FM morning anchor, Aden Thomas, who is also an Ambassador, is playing his part as well.

We now need to see all citizens and the various sectors of society holding hands and making a difference.

Water is life. Water is precious. We must do whatever it takes to save this resource and it’s good to see households, business, government, the agriculture sector, civil society and media all working together.

We appointed television and radio personalities, musicians, community leaders and activists to drive the #SaveWater Ambassador programme because of their influence. We need to see mobilization on a mass scale.

Last week, a schools roadshow was launched at Hazeldene Primary in Mitchells Plain. Teams are visiting 100 schools in and around Cape Town and we already have thousands of young #WaterHeroes

The Department of Basic Education and Western Cape Education Department is supporting the roadshow.

International climate activist, Catherine Constantinides, and her Miss Earth SA team are leading the school roadshow programme.

We are seeing excellent results and our young people are certainly starting to spread the #SaveWater message.

We will continue to engage communities. #SaveWater Ambassadors will also make themselves available for public engagements.

Saving water should be the responsibility of each and every one of us and not only Capetonians.

While Cape Town has a crisis, we need to ensure that every municipality across our country do their bit to #SaveWater.

Some other provinces are starting to feel the effects of the drought.

It’s good to see the City of Johannesburg already starting to spread the #SaveWater message.

There is no need to panic. There is no need to stockpile water. All we have to do is to start ensuring that we #SaveWater and reduce usage at all levels.

Let’s forget the politics and focus on saving more water.

The “Day Zero” scare may result in some tourists, local and foreign, cancelling their visits to the Mother City. There is no need for that. Cape Town is open for business and we must promote tourism. Staying away from the city will cause much harm.

During a crisis, some try to make a quick buck. We are seeing the prices of bottled water increasing. A five liter bottle at some stores sells up to R20. This is day light robbery. We need to keep a close eye on pricing and ensure that the Competitions Competition act if we suspect any collusion.

World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water.

The theme for World Water Day 2018 is “Nature for Water” – exploring nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.

“Damaged ecosystems affect the quantity and quality of water available for human consumption. Today, 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home; affecting their health, education and livelihoods.

“Sustainable Development Goal 6 commits the world to ensuring that everyone has access to safe water by 2030, and includes targets on protecting the natural environment and reducing pollution,” experts say.

Let’s act and act now before it’s too late. Let’s promote active citizenry.

It’s great to see the likes of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), big business, NGO’s, various sporting codes including the Springboks and Proteas and even the Soweto Gospel Choir pledging to support the #SaveWater drive.

Let’s also find ways to provide water to those in need. Boreholes are a good option and NGO’s are already investing tens of thousands of rands to drill.

#EveryDropCounts and saving water must become a way of life.

We are getting dozens of requests to visit more schools in the Western Cape and other parts of the country.

With our partners, the Department of Water and Sanitation, we will consider expanding the education drive over coming weeks.

*Yusuf Abramjee is the Chief Ambassador for #SaveWater and a Social Activist.
Twitter: @abramjee

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