World Wetlands Day 2002: South Africa


Report on World Wetland event at the

31 January and 01 February 2002


The MTN ScienCentre was funded by the City of Cape Town to co-ordinate World Wetland Days at the ScienCentre to create an awareness of impacts of urbanization and storm water on our fragile wetlands.

Eight schools were invited to participate in this event. These schools were chosen from catchments in the Western Cape.Macassar (Kuils River),Zeekoevlei (Zeekoevlei), Uxolo (Khayalitsha), and Rhodes (Liesbeek) High schools participated on the Thursday, 31 January 2002. Kleinberg Houtbay), Kronendal (Noordhoek), Zimasa (Langa) and Nerina Primary Schools attended on Friday 01 February 2002.

The schools were fetched by bus and arrived between 09h00- 10h00. On arrival they were divided into four groups to rotate to four different activities.

The four activities were:

· Slides and videos that focused on the impacts of urbanization and storm water on Wetlands presented by field workers from Zeekoevlei Environment Education Programme (ZEEP)

· Water testing on the canal using the School Water Project (SWAP) kits presented by SWAP trainers and facilitators who had completed a training workshop with Stellenbosch University. The learners tested the water on the canal
I. pH value
II. Nitrate test
III. Water bugs
IV. Turbidity
V. Observation of canal

· The highlight of the day was a guided boat trip to Intaka Island at Century City. Learners were taken over by boats operating daily on the canal. Guided tours and information on the purification processes and the physical structure of this unique Wetland was facilitated by MTN ScienCentre Educators

· In the ScienCentre learners were able to explore the interactive displays, which included displays from The City of Cape Town which focused on detention dams, flooding within informal settlements and other water resources. The learners were also taken into the Canon Camera Obscura, where the significance and history of this camera was explained by MTN ScienCentre facilitators

Refreshments were served during an interval when groups changed activities.

The Presentation

Prominent guests from The City of Cape Town Catchments Management Department were Mark Obree and Randall Adriaans who were invited to a presentation. Guest speakers included Professor Mike Bruton, Head of the MTN ScienCentre and Dr. Julia Wood, Environmental Manager from South Peninsula Administration. Theo Manuel and Tammy Daniels from the Department of Water and Forestry Affairs were also present.

After the two informative talks by Prof Mike Bruton and Dr Julia Wood each school was presented with a certificate for participating in this event.

General Information

The awareness of our fragile Wetland systems and the impacts of urbanization were highly emphasized. Educators and learners showed their enthusiasm as they were shown by Facilitators to be practically involved with water testing using the School Water Project (SWAP) kits from the University of Stellenbosch. Teachers received resource packs, which included educational packs from RAMSAR.


On the whole everything went as planned. Positive verbal comments from learners and educators were shared with a reminder that they hope to be on board in any following project or programmes.The programme ended at 14h00 when busses took tired but excited and informed learners back to their schools.

Cape Town City Council: Catchment Management is commended for the initiative of funding various organizations and schools especially in disadvantage communities.

World Wetlands Day Co-ordinator
Vanessa Bolters

Learners viewing slides on impact on wetlands.

Learners testing the canal water quality.

Learners looking at the difference of the water quality between Cell 2 and Cell 3 on the wetlands.

Highlight of the Day: The boat trip to the Intaka Island

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