Saving Water plus catering for the unemployed in the community

The two litre block.

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) in partnership with Johannesburg Water hosted a ‘drop a block’ campaign to help communities to reduce the amount of water usage when flushing the toilet.

The programme was expected to cover over 10 000 households from Pennyville Bosmont, Sophiatown, Riverlea, Noordgesig, Kliptown and Johannesburg central during last week March 6, to March 10.

The campaign by DWS is meant to decrease water consumption by up to 2 litres per flush with a green block that gets inserted into a toilet cistern.

The programme is in progress throughout the country but is mainly focused on areas with high water wastage.

On March 7 and 8 the programme was in full spring in Riverlea where about 50 volunteers were employed.”

“We have arranged with the councillors around the areas which we have identified. We go to the household, if we get the owner of the house we request to drop a block in his or her system.

“Apparently we had a challenge around this area because the people were at work and we couldn’t drop the number that we intended because we were thinking around 3295 so apparently we have dropped probably around 1900 blocks” said Fikile Mokonoto, the deputy director of DWS.

The block in the toilet.

According to Mokonoto, each area had their own volunteers who were assisting with the installation of the block.

DWS worked with the councillors in the different areas to get those volunteers and volunteers were paid at the end of their work day and were given lunch too.

An anonymous volunteered said: “Well we were told that we going to have more work, it was actually a four-month contract. So we were told that it as only for two days so it was a shock to us because we expected to work from Monday to Friday like a normal job.

“But it was alright, we need the money because people isn’t working, they got children to feed, they got houses that are empty so for the other people it was like they need the money. For me, I just did it because I was doing nothing at home.”

According to the source, they had to fill in forms and hand in their CV’s at the hall to get the job. The programmed lasted for two days in Riverlea because there was a big number to cover and the volunteers worked from 8 am to 1 pm every day.

The two litre block.

When asked why anonymous had no matric or a job he said “The reason why I don’t have matric is because I was young and I was into doing funny things and thought it would have lasted me up until now when I got caught and got punished for what I got caught for so now it’s difficult to get a job.

Another volunteer, Darryl Abrahams (29), said that he failed matric but is not focusing on completing his matric at the moment.

“The unemployment rate in the community is high and at home sometimes it’s difficult so as a young man I need to go out and look for a job so that I can help at home and help out with the finances.

“After these two days its back to square one, sitting at home, waiting in the sun until you hear that there’s another job”.

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Janice Beckett

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