Dec 2023 edition

Engaging young minds

Nonjabulo Ntuli

In May 2023, Kelebogile Abrahams, 14, from Emang Mmogo Comprehensive School in Kimberly Northern Cape, entered the Department of Water and Sanitation’s South African Youth Water Prize (SAYWP) competition.

Abrahams along with her schoolmate, Mahlohonolo Mosia, won the national competition, securingan opportunity to compete at an international level.

The SAYWP Competition is a science and technology-based project competed at national and international level.kelebogile

“I won first position at the national competition and that led me to the international competition,” said Kelebogile.

The competition seeks to encourage young minds to find ways to conserve water. The learners first had to identify the common cause of water waste in their community and find ways to curb it. This project seeks to enhance the youth’s interest in science and technology, to motivate youth to pursue water and sanitation careers and to provide opportunities for the youth to interact with their peers in sharing water conservation ideas.

 “I conducted my research by the use of survey questionnaires in local business and also the area of my school because that is where the problem started.” She discovered that tap leaks were the most common source of water waste in her community.

“The overall look was bad, the water running all around the school, water leaks ruining road infrastructure and the usage was extremely poor.”

The two teenagers  had a fundraising campaign and used the proceeds to fix as much leaks as they could. They also unknowingly conducted awareness campaigns where they interviewed and educated individuals on the scarce resource.  

During this competition, both Abrahams and Mosia came up with an innovative idea of placing an empty bucket under a tap in order to preserve the leaked water and used it to water plants.

In August 2023 Kelebogile and Mahlohonolo flew to Sweden where they competed against 29 other countries at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

While they did not win the competition, the success they have had back home has had a ripple effect on the school and the community at large. “There are teenagers that are eager to solve this issue we have in our country and our community has become a conscious water saving community,”  Kelebogile said.

She said the Stockholm Junior Competition helped her become conscious of the scarcity of water in the world at large.

“I want to make this awareness project a continuous success,”she said.  


Share this page