WaterWise Instructor Jacqui McAllister reports:
During the month of October, I decided to leave Durban, and the edge of the sea, and venture out into the heart of the Inanda Valley. The Inanda Valley is home to the Inanda Dam, which snakes around the valley like a big dragon on the Umgeni River System.
The Inanda Valley is home to a very large portion of the Durban population. It is vast, remote, and as foreboding as it is beautiful.
The reality of the valley, is that most of the schools are down on the multiple rivers in the valley. ALL the children have played in the dam and the rivers. One of the schools I visited had a river running right past the gate of the school. The only access to the school, was over a little road bridge. When I got there, there were lots of little kiddies (around 5 to 9yrs old) playing in the river. It was a hot day!
The only way to actually plan any WaterWise classes in this area was to do a drive through the valley, and find the schools and drop a mark on my Google Maps. Many of the schools are so remote, they don’t have phones. A few didn’t even have running water.
During one of the schools visited, the head teacher told me that just the day before, they had lost three cows, which had drowned right outside the school. They get stuck in the mud, and can’t get out. The children are instructed to look after the cows, and their fathers tell them that they must make sure they come home. She says, the children go in to get the cows, and drown too. Last month, they lost two children who drowned in the same river.
This is the reality of KZN.