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Media Release: KNP Water Week sets off

Date: 16th March 2005

Pupils from five schools in the Nkomazi area to the South of the Kruger National Park (KNP) learnt how to measure water quality as part of the KNP’s International Water Week effort yesterday (Tuesday March 16, 2005).

Pupils from five schools in the Nkomazi area to the South of the Kruger National Park (KNP) learnt how to measure water quality as part of the KNP’s International Water Week effort yesterday (Tuesday March 16, 2005).

Dr Thomas Gyedu-Ababio (right) explains various small water creatures to Francina Mabuza from Kaapmuiden Primary School during the KNP’s Water Week  Celebration

“It is up to each one of us to ask what we can do to help conserve this natural resource. Events like this are very important to us in local government because it is here where teachers learn more, which they then pass on to other learners,” he said.

During a short briefing session, they were encouraged by the acting Mayor of Nkomazi, Clr Ray Nkalanga to learn as much as they possibly can as water is one of the area’s most precious and scarce natural resources.

Dr Thomas Gyedu-Ababio, the KNP’s Aquatic Biodiversity Conservation Manager, then stressed why it was important to manage the country’s fresh water systems.

Pupils from Malelane Primary School learn how to identify different animals that live in the Crocodile River. The quality of the water can be determined by these animal species.

“It is up to each one of us to ask what we can do to help conserve this natural resource. Events like this are very important to us in local government because it is here where teachers learn more, which they then pass on to other learners,” he said.

“As only 2,5% of the water on the planet is fresh water and that around 70% of the human body is made up of water, it is important for all of us that this resource should be managed properly because ‘Water is Life’,” Dr Gyedu-Ababio said.

After the briefing session at Berg & Dal Conference Facility, the children were taken to the banks of the Crocodile River where they were shown how to measure water quality under the watchful protection of KNP rangers.

Teachers from primary schools in the Nkomazi area were shown how to determine water quality during the KNP’s Water Week celebrations.

Researchers, including Dr Gyedu-Ababio, obtained water samples containing vegetation, small water creatures and mud from the river and requested the school pupils to identify as many of the living creatures found. Scores were then given to the amount of invertebrae animals found which will then be used to determine the health of the water found in the Crocodile River.

Ms Francina Mabuza, the head girl at Kaapmuiden Primary School, said that she learnt a lot about water and about our rivers.

“This is the biggest river I have ever seen,” she commented, “and I didn’t know that all these small animals lived in water.”

A similar exercise will be done tomorrow (Thursday March 17, 2005) in the Phalaborwa region.

… Ends

Issued by:
Raymond Travers
Media Relations Practitioner
Kruger National Park
Tel: 013 735 4116
Cell: 082 908 2677

Enquiries:
William Mabasa
HOD: Public Relations and Communications
Kruger National Park
Tel: 013 735 4363
Cell: 082 807 3919

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