Green Corridors, the Durban-based NPO which co-creates open green spaces within the City for people in communities to live, work and thrive, calls on citizens to use World Water Day, (22 March) as a time to evaluate their relationship with water.
World Water Day, which takes place during South Africa’s National Water Week (15-22 March), is an annual United Nations Observance that focuses on the importance of fresh water in the world, using the theme “valuing water” in 2021.
According to the Worldwater.org website, “while celebrating the life-giving force of water, the day is also used to raise awareness of the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water.”
Green Corridors clean-up teams and nature guides, working within communities around Durban, see the ongoing devastation of waterways and environmentally important spaces through both alien invasive plants and the irresponsible disposal of litter that ends up in waterways impacting on water health, as well as surrounding community spaces – its people, plants and animals.
“Many people, including businesses, don’t understand that water from our stormwater drains flows directly into our waterways, and so they often discard their litter and waste in gutters or even down stormwater drains” explains Susan Dlamini, from Green Corridors. “All of this flows into our rivers and the sea, with a huge impact on water quality. If we could just start at being mindful of how we get rid of our litter and waste, it would help so much towards alleviating this.”
“We urge everyone to think about how we as human beings contribute to the health, distribution of- and access to our water,” says Susan. “We encourage people to join the World Water Day conversation on social media, which will help effect some change whether through policy or infrastructure or behaviour, working towards the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 of water and sanitation for all by 2030.”
The World Water Day campaign asks global citizens to discuss how they value water, “(as this) determines how water is managed and shared. The value of water is much more than its price – water has enormous and complex value for our households, culture, health, education, economics, and the integrity of our natural environment. If we overlook any of these values, we risk mismanaging this finite, irreplaceable resource.”
For example, the Green Corridors’ footprint across the City includes tourism sites near important water sources where local trained and registered tour guides rely on the health of the water for their and the communities’ livelihoods and well-being.
The various Green Corridors Green Spaces teams along with partners such as Adopt-a-River, WESSA, with funders such as RMB, SAPRIPOL and PETCO, and others, such as conservancies, and eThekwini Municipality Cleansing and Solid Waste, Parks Department and Sihlanzimvelo co-ops, focus on environmental hotspots, where clean-up teams remove alien vegetation as well as litter from waterways and their surrounds in their attempts to improve the health of the water. This waste is then channelled to recycling and repurposing projects such as the Green Corridors KwaMashu Materials Beneficiation Centre which is working towards creating products from plastic waste.
“We would love to hear our local voices in this conversation about water and how we can improve water quality and access, so would encourage educators, policy-makers and government officials, civil society, NGO’s and others to join in,” says Susan.
Follow Green Corridors on social media or World Water Day, and tag your post with #water2me and #WorldWaterDay.