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Back to the drawing board to save water
We’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands.

Dr Cindé Greyling, a University of the Free State (UFS) DiMTEC (Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa) alumni, studied drought mitigation with a strong focus on communicating important water-saving information. 

Can we run out of water?
Yes, and no, says Dr Greyling. “To our knowledge, water is not ‘leaking’ through our atmosphere. We have what we have, but that doesn’t mean we will have enough clean, fresh water forever. Nature has a magnificent way of purifying water through the water cycle. We, on the other hand, must use a lot of money and energy to purify water. Also, we’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands. The other problem is a simple supply and demand scenario. More people will need more water, but not only that, population growth calls for industry development and increased food supplies – all of which require more water.”    

A war over water
Besides some Hollywood impressions, it is difficult to imagine a war over water, but it is possible. “Some experts are convinced that we are heading there, and others claim that such tensions already exist. Personally, I don’t favour these kinds of shock tactics (or truths) – social research has shown us that it rarely leads to behavioural changes. We can learn a lot from what was has been done in Cape Town. Although we all think people were bombarded with ‘Day-Zero’-scares, they were actually encouraged to adapt their behaviour with a communication campaign that hardly ever used the term ‘Day-Zero’. This approach mobilised citizens to reach record lows of water usage.” 

Adapt a new normal
Dr Greyling encourages the “new normal” set in motion by Capetonians. “Water consciousness is needed, even when the rain comes again. We’ve taken water for granted for too long. As consumers, we have the power to turn this situation around – drop for drop. Be aware about the amount of water you use, how you use it, and for what. Keep in mind that any wastage and pollution (of ‘dry’ things) also wastes and pollutes water. Generally, we need to behave better regarding consumption.”  

News Archive

Outgoing Rector donates computer to security guard
2008-10-23

 
Prof. Frederick Fourie and Mr Teli Mohlakoana
Photo: Mangaliso Radebe
The outgoing Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Free State (UFS), Prof. Frederick Fourie, has donated a laptop computer to a security guard at the UFS to enable him to continue writing radio dramas.

Mr Teli Mohlakoana was one of the security guards dispatched to Prof. Fourie’s house at the time of the Reitz video incident.

Prof. Fourie said it was during that time that he noticed Mr Mohlakoana busy writing, and approached him to find out what he was writing. He told Prof. Fourie he was writing his latest drama for Lesedi FM, something he has been doing for years without a computer.

Mr Mohlakoana started writing radio dramas in 1997, and is currently working on three dramas with 35 episodes each. His first drama, “Na Ke Phoso” (Am I Wrong?) was aired in 2004. He said the laptop will make his job much easier.

“I am very happy to have received this gift, and I intend to use it to teach other people to write dramas”, he said.

Mr Mohlakoana is also busy writing a book titled “Dikapeso” (Graduations), as well as a stage play, with the assistance of the Drama Department. He started working for the UFS in 2006.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
22 October 2008
 

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