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03 April 2019 | Story Xolisa Mnukwa | Photo Vhugala Nthakheni
Uhuru Qwaqwa Arrival
The #UFSWalkToUhuru team arrives at the UFS Qwaqwa Campus on Friday 22 March.

The University of the Free State (UFS) Division of Student Affairs, in collaboration with the UFS Office for International Affairs, have joined hands to drive a fundraising and student-accessibility initiative dubbed, ‘The Walk to Uhuru’ (#UFSWalktoUhuru), which is aimed at raising funds and advocating for the educational rights of the less privileged. 

The project aims to raise funds in excess of R2 million from the public and stakeholders affiliated with the UFS (Kovsie staff and students). The project derives from the 2018/2019 UFS Institutional Student Representative Council (ISRC) mandate ‘Students Must Graduate’. The ISRC mandate aims to source funding opportunities for UFS students to register, and to complete their studies across all three campuses in 2020 and beyond.

The first leg of the project, a 350 km walk from the Bloemfontein to the Qwaqwa Campus, has already taken place and concluded on Friday, 22 March 2019 as planned. The #UFSWalkToUhuru team successfully completed the first leg of their journey to academic freedom for financially disadvantaged students at the UFS. The Uhuru team is now focusing its attention on the second leg and is determined to take on Mount Kilimanjaro (Uhuru) from 20 June to 20 July 2019.

The team sat down for a debriefing session to unpack the overall experience and result of the first half of the initiative, and they all agreed that the walk to Qwaqwa was an enlightening experience. It was a walk that comprised learning opportunities, team building, and goal crushing.

According to Rethabile Motseki, member of the #UFSWalkToUhuru team, the walk to Qwaqwa made a significant impact on the project, as the university community is now aware of the significant goals that the team is trying to accomplish. The team has also resumed their fitness-training programme to ensure that they are ready to take on the Uhuru climb in June.

A media briefing will take place shortly (date to be confirmed) to detail the ongoing fundraising initiatives rolled out by the #UFSWalkToUhuru team.  We implore you, and the nation as a whole, to help establish a better future for disadvantaged UFS students by donating to the initiative.

Students, staff, and the public can support the cause and make contributions/donations to the initiative by visiting the UFS Walk to Uhuru #givengain account page.

For more information, contact UFS SRC President, Sonwabile Dwaba, on DwabaSJ@ufs.ac.za  or Rethabile Motseki on MotsekiR@ufs.ac.za  

News Archive

Dr Henry Jordaan’s research to establish benchmarks for sustainable freshwater use in agri-food industries
2014-08-22

 

 Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Dr Henry Jordaan, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Economics, is working on a multi-disciplinary research project for the Water Research Commission. The project assesses the water footprints of selected agri-food products that are derived from field and forage crops produced under irrigation in South Africa. These foods include animal products, such as meat and dairy, and crop products such as bread and maize meal.

“The water footprint of a food product is the total volume of freshwater that is used to produce the product, measured from the farm to the actual consumption of the food product. Thus, the water footprint is a good indicator of the impact that the consumption of a product has on our scarce freshwater resource. The agri-food sector is a major user of freshwater in South Africa with a relatively large water footprint,” says Dr Jordaan.

However, the agri-food sector also has an important role in economic development in South Africa. It generates income and employment opportunities along the value chains of the food products.

The challenge is to maximise the economic and social benefits from using freshwater in an environment where freshwater gets increasingly scarce.

Through his research, Dr Jordaan aims to establish benchmarks for sustainable freshwater use in selected agri-food industries – from an environmental, economic and social perspective. These benchmarks will inform water users on the acceptable volumes of freshwater to use to produce food products. It will also inform users of the economic and social benefits that they are being expected to generate through their actions so that their water use behaviour could be considered sustainable.


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