With national water week (March 16-24) falling over the school holidays, Siza Water celebrated this precious resource on Thursday, March 14, hosting pupils from seven local schools and teaching them simple eco-friendly and efficient ways to preserve water.
Christine Hugo and Darryn Tucker from Water Explorer facilitated fun, educational activities that not only taught pupils about making water safe to drink but also raising awareness of the danger plastic pollution poses to our survival.
In his opening address, Siza Water Managing Director, Shyam Misra said: “By nature, humans think the earth is at their disposal and abuse it. Humans are the primary source of water pollution because of our excessive use of plastics, chemicals and emissions from factories that cause acid rain.”
He said many fish caught these days are found to have plastic in their stomachs and are toxic to eat, highlighting the importance of using straws made of bio-degradable materials such as paper and bamboo, or rather not using straws at all.
Darryn Tucker and Christine Hugo demonstrate how to make a chair out of eco bricks. Photo: Jacqueline Herbst/Howzitjax.
Pupils gather around to see which group’s water filtration device works best. Photo: Jacqueline Herbst/Howzitjax
“Humans need water for three main purposes: hygiene (to stay clean), survival (stay hydrated) and recreation (to swim and for aesthetic features like fountains that create tranquility)” said Misra.
Because water is life and a primary source of energy of the world, Misra urged pupils to go and practice what they learnt on Thursday at home during the March school holidays and then take it to the rest of their lives.
Being divided into seven groups, pupils made water filters from plastic bottles filled with stones and grass before doing a beach clean-up and finally, each wrote down their own pledge to save water. The plastic picked up from the beach was then used to make eco bricks which could be used to make furniture, build chairs and walls or sculptures.
Peoples clean the beach at Salmon Bay. Photo: Jacqueline Herbst/Howzitjax
“Because plastic photo-degenerates in the sun, the things we make from eco bricks must be kept out of the sun. We could either cover it in concrete (like with outdoor benches, walls and steps) or we could use the structures indoors,” said Hugo.
She said the key to the success of cleaning up and recycling initiatives was to mobilise the communities and making it part of everyday life.