#SAVEWATER EFFORTS TO INTENSIFY

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday 8 March 2018

#SAVEWATER EFFORTS TO INTENSIFY

#SaveWater Ambassadors have called for increased saving of water following an announcement that there is unlikely to be “Day Zero” this year.

“We don’t want Capetonians especially to now sit back and think we’re out of the woods now. We are not!

“If anything, we have to increase the saving of water and focus on bringing down usage even further,” said Chief #SaveWater Ambassador, Yusuf Abramjee.

He said “the drought is serious and the fact that the taps may not be closed does not mean we can get back to our old habits of wasting water.”

Abramjee said educational campaigns and activations will continue and will also be extended to other parts of the country.

Ahead of World Water Day on Thursday, 22 March, a number of events are being planned by the Department of Water and Sanitation, Operation SA, Miss Earth SA and partners.

“We will also focus on other provinces including Limpopo. We want every South African to embrace saving water because #EveryDropCounts,” he added.

Department of Water and Sanitation spokesperson, Sputnik Ratau, said: “We salute everyone who is saving water. Thank you for making a difference. We need to all continue to increase our savings.

“We have a lot of work that still lies ahead. We call on civil society, business, the agricultural sector, NGO’s and the media to all work together,” said Ratau.

International Climate Activist and Co-Chief #SaveWater Ambassador, Catherine Constantindes, said: “We all have a responsibility to ensure that we play our part and save water.

“It’s the basic principles of sustainability that need to be a fundamental foundation of how we operate; this must be the new business as usual. We continue to advocate to #SaveWater and remember that we are a water stressed country and #EveryDropCounts.

“Through the Miss Earth South Africa programme, we hope to continue #InspiringWaterHeroes across our nation as we remember that water is life,” Constantinides added.

Teams recently visited 100 schools in and around Cape Town and engaged tens of thousands of learners.

Linda Magapatona-Sangaret
Chief Marketing Officer, Brand South Africa said: “The water scarcity should be the business of all citizens and not just Capetonians.

“If we all make efforts in reducing water usage and wastage, the challenge can be managed along with innovation. South Africans must learn to save this vital resource to ensure that other parts of the country don’t have to deal with a ‘Day Zero’ situation in future.

“We must take lessons from what has happened. We salute the efforts of the #SaveWater campaign and all other initiatives to get citizens to understand, act and prevent a catastrophic situation,” said Magapatona-Sangaret.

Lerato Dumisa, Sunlight 2in1 Assistant Brand Manager said “finding a way to use a limited resource when you are accustomed to using a lot of water in your home is not easy for anyone. Yes, saving water is now a reality that we and our children have to work towards as we work together to create a #WaterSmartNation. Let us continue to do our part and be responsible citizens, ensuring we have access to water tomorrow.”

Aden Thomas, Breakfast Show Host at Heart FM said “we must change our relationship with water and continue to treat it as the scarce resource that it is.”

Operation SA activist and #SaveWater Ambassador, Yaseen Theba, said: “Its not enough to just defeat ‘DayZero’. Every South African has to change their mindset now so that over time, apart from just saving water, we can build up sustainable alternatives to deal with global water challenges.”

#SaveWater Ambassador, Lance Witten, live editor, Cape Argus said: “Even though Cape Town’s residents have done exceptionally well to avert a real humanitarian crisis by saving water and drastically reducing their water consumption, the fact that we may have staved off a ‘Day Zero’ scenario cannot lull us into a false sense of security.

“The reality is that we all have to come to terms that we live in a water-scarce environment, despite being surrounded by the sea. We can no longer rely on our wet winters to save us. For too long, we have been wasteful in our behaviour, therefore, while we celebrate the shift in mindset that led to ‘Day Zero’ possibly being averted in 2018, we need to remain mindful that continued water savings are needed.

“We need to inculcate #SaveWater in every resident, so that we change our entire water culture from one of gratuitous water usage and wastage, to a mindset of conservation and frugality. #EveryDropCounts – this is a message we must never forget,” Witten added.

Bridgetti Lim Banda, social entrepreneur and founder of the Facebook Page Cape Town Water Crisis said: “Our dams are not less empty and whilst acknowledging the phenomenal hard work and savings of most Capetonians we need to continue encouraging each other to save water in view of the uncertainty of the amount of rain we may get this winter.”

Deputy President of the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), Moulana Abdul Khalik Ebrahim Alli, said “we salute all the activists and the ambassadors and our local civic organizations for their sterling work in highlighting the great blessing and the valuable resource that water is to our community.

“It is this collective effort that’s brought about greater awareness to the community, to the students at schools and to all politicians and everyone in the Western Cape that brought about the shift of wasting water to preserving water,” Moulana Alli added.

He said the call to #SaveWater will continue.

Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris said: “Residents, businesses, visitors and farmers are helping to build a destination that is a world-leader in climate change resilience. According to our research, Cape Town has reduced its water consumption by nearly 57%. It took Melbourne, in comparison, 12 years to achieve the same percentage reduction. We cannot let our foot off the pedal now. We must work as hard as possible to continue this water saving effort, so that we set a new global standard that the rest of the world will look to follow. If we continue on this successful path, we will build a truly resilient city that will be even more attractive to live, play, work, visit and invest in.”

Michelle Bagley from the Amy Foundation also appealed to South Africans to continue water saving efforts. She said the “various partnerships and collaborations showed what can be achieved when we work together.”

Abramjee called on municipalities across the country to introduce #SaveWater campaigns.

“The City of Johannesburg is one of the few that has started awareness drives. We appeal to others to do the same with urgency and mobilize,” he added.

End

Enquiries:

*Yusuf Abramjee cell 082 4414 203

*Catherine Constantindes cell ‭083 747 7677

THOUSANDS OF YOUNG #WaterHeroes RECRUITED AS #SaveWater drives gains momentum

Friday 2 March 2018

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THOUSANDS OF YOUNG #WaterHeroes RECRUITED AS #SaveWater drives gains momentum

Tens of thousands of Cape Town learners have been recruited as #WaterHeroes.

The initiative by the Department of Water and Sanitation, Miss Earth SA and Operation SA and partners saw activists visiting 100 schools over the past two weeks.

#SaveWater Ambassadors from Miss Earth went into classrooms to present an educational programme and also addressed assemblies in and around Cape Town.

Areas visited included Belhar, Mitchells Plain, BoKaap, Hout Bay, Langa, Claremont, Athole, Gugulethu, Philippi, Crossroads, Retreat, Lavender Hills, Hanover Park, Durbanville, Atlantis, Paarl, Stellenbosch and Langebaan.

International Climate Activist and #SaveWater Ambassador, Catherine Constantindes said: “We engaged almost 100 000 children who have pledged to become our very own #WaterHeroes

“We have been insprired by the level of engagement and commitment. We witnessed innovation and creative ideas at some schools who have already started to address the water crisis.”

Constantindes added she was proud of the ambassadors who have shown great leadership and involvement at a community level. “At every school we were warmly received and have been inundated with requests to visit other schools throughout the country.”

Chief #SaveWater Ambassador, Yusuf Abramjee, said: “We are already seeing a ripple effect…children have taken the #SaveWater #EveryDropCounts messages into their homes and communities.”

He said “we must continue to drive the #SaveWater #EveryDropCounts message to every corner of South Africa.”

The Department of Water and Sanitation and its partners have committed to continue promoting active citizenry.

Spokeman Sputnik Ratau, said “we are proud to partner with civil society organizations and corporates who are aligned with our vision of conserving water.

“We need to increase our water saving efforts. We will continue to engage communities and all sectors of society,” Rantau said.

Over 120 #SaveWater Ambassadors were recently appointed to drive the message. They include community activists and television, radio and sport personalities. Various sporting codes and NGO’s are supporting the drive.

In the run-up to World Water Day on Thursday, 22 March, a round table discussion will be hosted in Cape Town with key stakeholders.

To drive the #SaveWater #EveryDropCounts message, communities are being engaged, leaflets distributed and the Department this week also launched “Drop The Block”. Residents are encouraged to put the blocks in their toilet cisterns to #SaveWater with every flush.

Ambassadors also started a viral #EmptyBucketChallenge where photos of an empty bucket of water is displayed.

“We want every citizen to pledge to #SaveWater because #EveryDropCounts. The campaign is viral already on social media. We have to spread the message and we encourage all South Africans to join us,” said Abramjee.

End


Yusuf Abramjee Cell 082 4414 203

Catherine Constantinides 083 747 7677

Sputnik Ratau
‭083 874 2942

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

#SaveWater Ambassadors visited the TheeWaterskloof Dam outside Franschhoek today to see the extent of the drought for themselves. 

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.

Thursday 22 February 2018 
#SaveWater Ambassadors visited the TheeWaterskloof Dam outside Franschhoek today to see the extent of the drought for themselves. 
The Department of Water and Sanitation showed the activists the various interventions which are being undertaken.
Theewaterkloof Dam is one of six dams that supply water to the Cape Town area. The dam level is under 11%.
“What we have seen today was devastating. It brought home the severity of the drought. Now, more than ever before, we have to escalate our #SaveWater #EveryDropCounts initiatives.”
“We compliment the Department of Water and Sanitation for taking urgent measures in an attempt to provide underground water and through the construction of a ‘coffer dam’,” said Chief #SaveWater Ambassador, Yusuf Abramjee.

International Climate Activist and Co-Chief #SaveWater Ambassador Catherine Constantinides: “It was a truly painful experience to see the raw earth where once a thriving body of water lay. We hope through the interventions we will see some positive results.”

“The last week spent in schools in Cape Town is an inspiring reminder that we must continue to drive behavior change and awareness as well as a shift in mindset with our relationship with water.”
Constantinides said: “The Miss Earth South Africa Ambassadors
 have engaged in classroom activities addressing scholars and communities. The robust interaction has truly been important and ambassadors will continue to roll out across the country.”
Irini Moutzouris, Miss Earth South Africa  said: “It was saddening to see the state of the TheeWaterskloof Dam and the impact that the drought is having on the Mother City.
“As Miss Earth South Africa, I am proud to be part of the #SaveWater drive with the Department of Water and Sanitation and Operation SA, visiting schools to remind children how important it is to Save Water.”
#SaveWater Ambassador, Hanief Loonat, who also visited the Dam said he was “shocked” to see how dry it was.
“We have to all drive the #SaveWater message,” he said.
There are over 100 activists, community leaders, Radio, TV and Sport personalities who are Ambassadors.
End

Enquiries:
*Yusuf Abramjee cell 082 4414 203
*Catherine Constantindes 083 747 7677

#SaveWater ANNOUNCES MASSIVE NATIONAL DRIVE

Thursday 15 February 2018

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

#SaveWater ANNOUNCES MASSIVE NATIONAL DRIVE

A massive initiative to #SaveWater has been launch in Cape Town.

The Department of Water and Sanitation, Operation SA and Miss Earth South Africa announced the partnership at the launch of the #SaveWater Ambassador programme and a city-wide school road show.

With 109 days to go to “Day Zero” the initiative will mobilise civil society, business, government and the agricultural sectors.

The Springboks, Proteas and AJAX Cape Town FC are some of the sporting codes that have thrown their wait behind #SaveWater

The Springboks said: “As a sports federation in the country, SA Rugby wants to applaud the great efforts such as the #SaveWater Ambassadors campaign, to help raise public awareness of the drought crisis facing us in many parts of South Africa.

“We are delighted to show our support, and are indeed proud of all the various citizen initiatives, to help save this precious and scarce resource.”

Eben Etzebeth, Captain of the Springboks, pledged his support.

#SaveWater ambassadors include high profile TV and Radio personalities, musicians, community, business and religious leaders and activists.

The Soweto Gospel Choir, Shout South Africa, Cape Town / South Africa Water Crisis, Community Police Forums, #MakeSASafe, Wesgro, The Cape Argus and corporates and Tsogo Sun are some of the organisations and companies that have pledged their support.

Speaking at the launch, #SaveWater Ambassadors promised to drive the #EveryDropCounts message.

#SaveWater Ambassador and international climate activist Catherine Constantinides said: “It is critical that South Africans stood united to address the water crisis.

“As we move closer towards solutions, we must not forget that it is daily behaviour and a change in mind set that will also make a difference. This needs to become the norm.

“We are proud to be driving an extensive educational campaign launching next week in Mitchells Plain. Our mission is an initial 100 schools in 10 days with a vision of inspiring #Water Heroes.

On Monday at 8am, the programme will kick-off at the Hazeldene Primary School.

#SaveWater, Chief Ambassador said the drive required the support of all citizens.

“We have over 110 ambassadors so far and more are joining in. We appeal to South Africans to join us and support the movement because water is life.

“Let’s forget the politics and do our bit. We can avoid #DayZero if we save right now. There is no need to stockpile or panic,” Abramjee said.

He added that some were cashing in on water selling 5 liters for R20.

“The Competitions Commission must keep a close eye,” he added.

Operation SA’s Yaseen Theba announced that in partnership with AWQAF SA, “we are in the final stages of planning to drill 30 boreholes. We are looking at schools, clinics, hospitals and community centres.”

The #SaveWater initiative will not be only constrained to the City of Cape Town, but will make its presence felt throughout the country.

#SaveWater Ambassadors said that it was about time that citizens found ways to address the #WaterCrisis.

John Van Rooyen, Western Cape Operations Manager for the Tsogo Sun Group said “we are proud to be associated with #SaveWater. It talks to our business objective and long term view to reduce water consumption.”

He said Cape Town was open for business and appealed to tourists to continue visiting the Mother City.


Enquiries:

Yusuf Abramjee – 0824414203
Yaseen Theba – 0644000000
Catherine Constantinides – 0837477677

TIME TO #SaveWater now more then ever before, activists urge.

Tuesday 13 February 2018

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TIME TO #SaveWater now more then ever before, activists urge.

Operation SA, Miss Earth South Africa and partners have called on South Africans “to #SaveWater now more than ever before.”

“ ‘Day Zero’ “ has been pushed back to June 4.

“We welcome the new date and we need to save more water now. We can avoid ‘Day Zero’ if we all unite and do our bit,” said #SaveWater Chief Ambassador, Yusuf Abramjee.

“We salute those who are saving water. Remember #EveryDropCounts and every bit of saving helps,” said Abramjee.

“We thank the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) for leading the #SaveWater drive together with the various stakeholders. Let’s now all escalate our efforts,” Abramjee added.

A #SaveWater campaign is to be launched in Cape Town on Thursday morning.

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Operation SA and Miss Earth SA will introduce the various Ambassadors and also announce plans for a school roadshow and other interventions.

Operation SA’s Yaseen Theba said details of drilling boreholes in partnership with Awqaf SA will be released soon.

“We will do what it takes to assist,” he said.

Catherine Constantinides from Miss Earth SA said: “We will take the #SaveWater message across Cape Town as part of a first phase of education and awareness. We need to drive this educational campaign nationally. We cannot forget that water is a precious resource and we need to change behaviour.”

Constantinides said “let’s all join hands and #SaveWater.”

Meanwhile, Operation SA and Miss Earth South Africa have welcomed the annoucement that Government has declared the drought a national disaster.

“We need interventions and this move will assist.”

They said the #EveryDropCount campaign by The Cape Argus and other initiatives need to be supported.

“Government, households, civil society, business, agriculture and the media need to all hold hands…”

“We are all in this together and Team SA must pledge to #SaveWater,” added Abramjee.

Enquiries:

Yusuf Abramjee – 0824414203
Yaseen Theba – 0644000000
Catherine Constantinides – ‭0837477677

Social activist & Operation SA’s, Yusuf Abramjee, chats to Aden Thomas about the #SaveWater Campaign

Operation SA and the Miss Earth organisation have welcomed news that “Day Zero” has been pushed back by a month to 11 May but they have cautioned: Don’t start celebrations just yet, we must continue to #SaveWater now more than ever before!

The two organizations said it was “critical” for Capetonians to #SaveWater now and reduce usage immediately.

Abramjee said various organizations were working in partnership with the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and plans are in place to mobilize the public to #SaveWater. They are also launching an Ambassadors programme soon in Cape Town. The organisation has committed to working closely with the Department of Water and Sanitation, alongside all critical stakeholders to manage an educational drive and schools programme across the Western Cape.

Operation SA is a nonprofit organization whose sole mission is to reduce human suffering. We respond to natural disasters, humanitarian emergencies and poverty. We are non-sectarian and non-political. Operation SA is on the ground with the people we serve. Our programs address four specific needs: Education, Health, Water (Sanitation and Hygiene), and Economic Opportunity. Operation SA’s four specific disciplines are well defined, but every situation is unique. That means one size does not fit all. We place a premium on learning, listening, being flexible and responsive. We take risks and learn from results. Our integrative approach means we’re able to roll out customized programs that address local priorities in the most effective, efficient way.

More on their website: operationsa.org/

Massive #SaveWater campaign in the Western Cape gaining momentum

Monday 5 February 2017

MEDIA STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

#SAVEWATER

Operation SA and the Miss Earth organisation have welcomed news that “Day Zero” has been pushed back by a month to 11 May but they have cautioned: Don’t start celebrations just yet, we must continue to #SaveWater now more than ever before!

The two organizations said it was “critical” for Capetonians to #SaveWater now and reduce usage immediately.

Operation SA’s Yusuf Abramjee said: “While we welcome the moving of the date or ‘Day Zero’, we still have lots to do. We need to mobilize the public to save water and we have to work on plans to ensure that the taps don’t run dry.”

Abramjee said various organizations were working in partnership with the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS).

“Various plans are in place to mobilize the public to #SaveWater. We are also launching an Ambassadors programme soon in Cape Town,” he added.

South African Climate and Environmental Activist, Catherine Constantinides has been an active voice across the nation in a call to drive engaged citizenship in addressing the crisis the nation faces. “Now more than ever we can and must continue to stand together, share ideas, educate our communities, be innovative and practical as we drive reducing our water consumption”, says Constantinides.

The Miss Earth South Africa organisation has been working in schools and communities over the past few years under the banner of #WasteStopsWithME. They have now called on citizens to take individual responsibility and accountability for the manner in which we live and use the natural resources around us, especially as a water scarce country.

The organisation has committed to working closely with the Department of Water and Sanitation, alongside all critical stakeholders to manage an educational drive and schools programme across the Western Cape, that brings together influencers and community leaders. Ambassadors and activists will work tirelessly over the coming months to reach learners, educators and communities as we move towards a future that ensures all South African’s #SaveWater as a way of life.

Team South Africa has been urged to pray for rain from 9 to 11 February. The DWS is leading the call supported by NGO’s.

Meanwhile, Yaseen Theba of Operation SA said discussions were underway with NGO’s and government departments to look at boreholes.

“We have some funding thanks to Awqaf SA and once we get the green light we can start the work. We will target schools and other public places,” Theba added.

Both organizations again appealed to the public not to collect and transport bottled water from Gauteng to Cape Town.

“It’s not viable. We also concerned that water is being filled into unsterile containers and this can result in contamination and it poses health risks.”

Water experts and the DWS have also called on the public not to collect and transport water.

“Let’s not cause panic. Let’s focus on saving water for now and if and when things change, we will mobilize the public. South Africans always show the spirit of Ubuntu,” added Abramjee.


Enquiries:

Yusuf Abramjee cell 082 4414 203

Yaseen Theba cell
064 000 000

Catherine Constantinides
‭083 747 7677