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26 March 2018 Photo Pixabay
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

Charity indeed begins at home
2016-02-19

Description: KL News 2016 02 19 Rag Queen Tags: KL News 2016 02 19 Rag Queen
The winning duo: Stefan Lotter and Marzel van Zyl after being crowned Mr RAG and RAG Queen at the Brutal Fruit Coronation Ball. Photo: Sarel Greyling

Stefan Lotter and Marzel van Zyl were crowned Mr RAG and RAG Queen at the prestigious Brutal Fruit RAG Coronation Ball on 12 February 2016. For the last 10 months, these University of the Free State (UFS) students have been collecting funds for community projects in the Free State.

Capitalise on existing platforms

Although they are patrons of charitable organisations external to the university, Stefan and Marzel revised their strategy to prioritise the UFS. “Some students on campus struggle, and, because charity begins at home, we will try to help the No Student Hungry and Right to Learn campaigns,” said Stefan.

However, he will continue to support the Northern Free State Caregivers, a 24-hour nursing service for terminally ill patients, for which he collected R15 000. For her part, Marzel was able to collect more than R20 000 for the Free State Residential Care Centre, which houses mentally challenged adults, and also hosts a skills development programme. The Centre’s baking workshop had to discontinue due to a lack of funding, but Marzel hopes that her contributions will bring about its revival and sustenance.

Bringing home the money

The winning duo are expected to represent our university at Mr & Miss SA Campus South Africa 2016.  According to Stefan, they plan “to push the RAG agenda there and bring money back home,” at this charity-based pageant.

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