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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

Launch of the Africa office of the IIDE
2006-05-25

Attending the launch of the Africa office of the IIDE were from the left Prof Sytse Strijbos (Chairperson of IIDE Europe), Rev Kiepie Jaftha (Chairperson of the IIDE in Africa’s Board of Directors and Chief Director: Community Service at the UFS) and Prof Frederick Fourie (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the UFS).

 

Attending the launch were from the left Prof Lucius Botes (Director: Centre of Development Support at the UFS), Dr Samuel Kareithi (Head: Community Development at the Cornerstone Christian College, Cape Town), Rev Kiepie Jaftha (Chairperson of the IIDE in Africa’s Board of Directors and Chief Director: Community Service at the UFS), Prof Sytse Strijbos (Chairperson of IIDE Europe) and Dr Ezekiel Moraka (Vice-Rector:  Student Affairs at the UFS).

Africa office of IIDE launched on UFS main campus 

The Africa office of the International Institute for Development and Ethics (IIDE) was today (26 May 2006) launched on the Main Campus of the University of the Free State (UFS) in Bloemfontein.

“The IIDE specialises in the studying and research of general questions of developmental theory and practices and provides services and support in education, strategic planning, policy formulation, advocacy and capacity building of development agencies,” said Rev Kiepie Jaftha, Chairperson of the IIDE in Africa’s Board of Directors and Chief Director: Community Service at the UFS.

According to Rev Jaftha the IIDE in Africa will focus on the conceptual and normative aspects of developmental processes in Sub-Saharan Africa.  “We want to foster local and international partnerships with various relevant role-players in civil society, the private sector and public sector in the SACD region and later expand our operations to the rest of Africa,” said Rev Jaftha.

The IIDE in Africa cooperates with a similar foundation in Europe, functioning as the IIDE Europe.  This institute was founded in 2003 and its head office is situated in the Netherlands.  The UFS is a funder of the IIDE in Africa together with the Paul Foundation and private sponsors from the Netherlands.

“We have already started with various projects which are in various stages of implementation,” said Rev Jaftha.  Some of these projects include, among others, the broadening of the master’s degree in Christian Studies of Science and Society (MACSSS) which is currently housed at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam to tertiary institutions in South Africa such as the UFS, the University of Stellenbosch and the Potchefstroom Campus of the Northwest University.

“Another project is an investigation into the possibility of initiating a broad development initiative in the poverty stricken Qwaqwa area.  This initiative will attempt to concentrate on issues like the training and empowerment of prospective entrepreneurs in the region, the identification of prospective entrepreneurs for the rendering of development support and the monitoring of the impact of information and communication technology on local communities during the implementation of sustainable development initiatives,” said Rev Jaftha.

“The establishment of the Africa office of the IIDE on the UFS Main Campus is an indication of one of the aims of the UFS to play a role in South Africa and Africa.  It also signifies our aim to contribute meaningfully to research and development and to establish links between the academe and practice,” said Rev Jaftha. 

 

Media release
Issued by: Lacea Loader
Media Representative
Tel:   (051) 401-2584
Cell:  083 645 2454
E-mail:  loaderl.stg@mail.uovs.ac.za
26 May 2006

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