Neelam Rahim | email@example.com
23 September 2023 | 12:35 CAT
This week, hundreds of citizen scientists are participating in a countrywide water-testing campaign with test kits provided by the Water Community Action Network (WaterCAN). As authorities appear to be washing their hands of the damage done to water sources, the public can no longer afford to be bystanders.
The National Water-testing Week initiative is led by WaterCAN, an initiative of OUTA, which is a network of citizen science activists and community organisations who advocate for clean, safe and sustainable water.
The initiative will see water monitoring and testing from 17 to 24 September. The campaign is centred on World Water Monitoring Day on 18 September at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Johannesburg, focusing on testing tap water, rivers, reservoirs and dams — and World Rivers Day on 24 September.
WaterCAN’s network aims to test water across the country in spots including Cape Town, Gqeberha, Isipingo, Durban, Johannesburg, Pretoria, West Rand, the Vaal River and Bloemfontein.
WaterCAN has supplied the volunteers with iLAB testing kits that assess more than ten drinking water parameters, including a metals test and an E. coli test. Volunteers will test the water in their area’s sources: a stream, river, dam or tap water.
“This is only the beginning of our path to monitor and track the quality of our water supplies from taps, rivers, boreholes. We want to expand this project so that we have thousands of people regularly testing our water. And where there are concerns, we need to act fast and use our activism to hold those responsible accountable,” says Dr Ferrial Adam, WaterCAN Manager.
“South Africa’s water resources are in a dire state and require all of us to become water guardians to monitor and protect this precious resource. As we move forward, we need people to be our eyes, ears and voices on the ground to monitor and protect our water but also to hold those responsible accountable,” said Adam.
Listen to the full interview on Your World Today with Mufti Yusuf Moosagie.