Project at schools aim to save water

Siblings Zoe, 12, and Zac Williams, 7, get to work reviving the Sentinel Primary School garden with, back from left, principal Claudene Overmeyer, teacher Katy Wyngaard and Thrive mentor Therina Williams.

Sentinel Primary School has initiated a water-wise campaign that could soon be rolled out to other schools in Hout Bay.

Working with five mentors from Thrive Hout Bay, the project involves pupils bringing containers of bath or shower water to school every Tuesday and Thursday. This water is then
used to water plants and trees on the school grounds.

Speaking at the launch of the initiative on Tuesday March 28, Thrive director Bronwen Lankers-Byrne said Sentinel Primary principal Claudene Overmeyer and Thrive mentor Therina Williams had come up with the idea.

“Sentinel Primary hasn’t yet achieved the waste component of our five pillars of sustainability: water, food, waste, energy and biodiversity. But I am thrilled that it has taken the initiative in regard to the water aspect. A pipe is placed next to each tree. Water brought by the children is then funneled through the pipe to water the tree,” she said.

There is also incentive for the pupils in that the class that brings the most water will win a braai brunch at the end of the year.

“Thrive currently works with 10 schools, and we are hoping that this initiative can be rolled out to them. Particularly with the ongoing drought, it is important that there are projects like this to save water.”

The initiative serves a dual purpose, in that a garden launched by Thrive at the school in 2014 has not flourished in the years since, and the container water can now be used to revive it.

“We tried the garden before, and unfortunately it did not work out. But I am sure it is going to happen this time,” Ms Overmeyer said.

“Especially in Hangberg, we need initiatives like this. It’s time to bring the love back into the community.”