There’s no doubt that water scarcity has been the number one concern for millions of South Africans in recent months. Some communities continue to pray for rain where the drought has struck unrelenting damage. Amid all this horror, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has sparked a glorious campaign to highlight the precious nature of water resources and how to conserve them.
The #JourneyOfWater took some of South Africa’s most influential personalities through a gruelling experience which highlighted various facts about water. From the outset, the teams manoeuvred through potholed roads between Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal to bring awareness to the notion, ‘Water doesn’t come from a tap’. CEO of WWF South Africa, Dr Morné du Plessis, stressed that while the grasslands seemed barren in the winter, they possessed the ability to spring back to life like ‘water engines’ in summer.
Discussed en route was the seriousness of the campaign to prevent the development of yet another coal mine in the region. WWF SA is one of the leading environmental conservation organisations in South Africa, by all means considered a heavy hitter. Their #JourneyOfWater is no small feat, having grabbed the attention of over 400 000 people through Twitter alone.
As with all South African social projects, the leading team encountered the best of African wildlife and rural culture along the way, making friends at every turn of their exciting journey. The challenge of the climb granted the team the reward of a magnificent view over the escarpment, once again bringing to light the necessity of their work in raising awareness for its conservation. In total, the team spent three days following the #JourneyOfWater from source to tap, and the documented version is going viral.
One of the destinations along the route was the Bivane Dam: South Africa’s largest privately built dam. Completed 17 years ago, Bivane Dam has brought relief to over 250 000 people who now can receive potable water without fear. The dam project created 3500 permanent jobs and 1500 seasonal jobs on surrounding farmlands and this alone supports approximately 30 000 people.
Investing in water development projects is never a bad idea, and we’re exceptionally proud of WWF SA for raising the bar in conservation efforts. You can follow the #JourneyOfWater directly or read more about other water-oriented campaigns and organisations on our site.