“Young learners from Nocqaza school fearlessly took off their shoes and socks and splashed into the Umgeni river and found coloured striped frogs and large crabs. We all had fun identifying the river animals and small invertebrates.” (Ms Ranji Padayachee, St. Annes).
Water is a critical resource for all. This year, for water week, two Project 90 Club schools in the Howick area of KwaZulu–Natal, joined hands to study their environment and the important river systems that flow through the town. St Annes, a private school in Hilton, mainly concentrating on mitigation for Climate Change and Nocqaza Primary School, mainly concentrating on climate change adaptation and sustainability in a local context, spent the afternoon together finding out more about water creatures in the Umgeni River.
Nine girls from St Annes ranging from grade 8 to 12 and about 30 learners from Nocqaza ranging from grade 3 to 7 attended an enthusiastic field-trip to the Umgeni river at Mills Falls in Howick. Learners eagerly collected water invertebrates to have a closer look. These tiny animals are important to study as they tell us the story of the river. Depending on the different species present one can assess the quality of the river and its environs. After a close look all learners took care to release the animals, alive and undamaged, back into the habitat in which they were found.
They then added up the scores, using the mini-SASS system for water quality monitoring. Once the score is divided out, according to the Mini SASS system they came up with a rating of 7.57 which means the stream is in a surprisingly good condition!