About 71 percent of the Earth's surface is covered in water, the oceans hold about 96.5 percent of all Earth's water, 1.74 % is locked in glaciers and ice caps, 1.69 % is ground water. We actually live on a water scarce planet. This is a global issue that is affecting more than billion people meaning, one out of six people lack access to fresh water.....and South Africa is considered one of the world's highly stressed water countries.
Due to the catastrophic effects of the past few years droughts, each municipality in South Africa has taken drastic measures to save water. Durban has implemented a mandatory water restriction of 15 percent. All the dams that supply our city have experienced below average rainfall over the past 30 months, resulting in some of these dams remaining consistently at below 30 per cent and 50 per cent full.
From the 22-24 of March the Department of Water and Sanitation in partnership with KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government and United Nations Water hosted a World Water Day Summit at iNkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre. The National Water Week is an awareness week campaign by the Department of Water and Sanitation which serves as a powerful campaign mechanism re-iterating the value of water, the need for sustainable management of this scarce resource and the role water plays in eradicating poverty and under-development in South Africa.
Among the issues that were addressed on the campaign was the issue of litter and debris that gets washed down the Umgeni River and into the ocean. On the Friday, 24th March all the delegates headed down to the Green Hub for a discussion session on the Durban Partnership Against Plastic Pollution and a beach clean-up at Blue Lagoon. More than 50 bags of liter were collected along Umngeni Estuary in just a few hour! Plastics SA was a key supporter of the event by providing bags for cleanups on the beaches around Umngeni Estuary. Durban University of Technology Green initiative students were also part of the campaign. The clean-up campaign theme was Keep Calm and Bin it and Think GREEN, Live GREEN.
The amount of debris found on our beaches is a stark reminder around additional threats from pollution to our already scarce fresh water. THINK GREEN and KEEP CALM AND BIN IT!!!