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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

Outstanding UFS alumni celebrated at annual award ceremony
2016-11-08

Description: Alumni awards 2016 Tags: Alumni awards 2016

Justice Mahube Molemela, Justice Ian van der Merwe
and Tanya Calitz.

The annual Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumni Awards ceremony was presented by the Office of Institutional Advancement on 5 November 2016, at the University of the Free State (UFS) Bloemfontein Campus. The prestigious awards recognise outstanding achievements of UFS alumni provincially, nationally and internationally. These are alumni who have not only placed the university on the world stage but have inspired the next generation of Kovsies and their communities at large.

“I am proud of this year’s award recipients and it is an honour to recognise them for the contributions they make,” said Justice Ian van der Merwe, Chairperson of the UFS Council, at the ceremony. “With these awards, the university wants to strengthen its bond and replenish its connection with alumni, showcase their achievements, and inspire other alumni and students to achieve in their respective fields,” Justice van der Merwe said.

For the first time, the Young Alumnus of the Year Award was presented, to recognise and celebrate the achievements of alumni who have graduated within the past decade. The recipient of the award, Tanya Calitz, Research Lawyer at the Constitutional Court of South Africa, said in her acceptance speech: “At Kovsies you arrive as a student and leave as a critical thinker and leader.”

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Alumnus Award was presented to Justice Mahube Molemela, Chancellor of the Central University of Technology and Judge President of the Free State High Court. “I accept this award with humility and appreciation from this esteemed institution. It is moments like these that we as alumni should reflect on what we can do to contribute to the excellence of the UFS,” said Justice Molemela.

More awards were presented to alumni in the following categories:
•    Rolene Strauss, former Miss World and student at the UFS.
•    Wayde van Niekerk, current world record holder, world champion and Olympic champion in the 400 metres, and student at the UFS.

Cum Laude Award:
•    Neil Powell, Coach of Blitzbokke that won the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in 2016.
•    Professor Eunice Seekoe, Acting Dean: Faculty of Health Sciences, and leader in Health Science professional training.
•    Gary Stroebel, CEO of Central Media Group and visionary media pioneer.

Executive Management Award:
•    Anna Botha (Tannie Ans), coach and mentor of Wayde van Niekerk.
•    Anton Esterhuyse, musical director, composer, arranger, producer, and performer.

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