The Treverton Post Matric students of 2015 undertook an adventure during June 2015. This was the fifth annual “Water-wise” trip undertaken by the students. Undertaken as an extreme adventure trip, the Treverton G.A.P students follow the course of one of the major rivers in the region. On route the students spend time conducting water related interactive lessons with learners at underprivileged and under resourced rural schools.
The journeys span multiple days, involving a combination of paddling, mountain biking, and hiking. This year the students tackled the Phongola River, northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Post Matric 2015 student, Jules says:
“We stayed in community stays (i.e. overnight with members of the community), practicing responsible, sustainable tourism. We were in remote regions of South Africa, sharing knowledge and environmental lessons with the learners about looking after their precious natural resource - WATER."
One component of the “Water-Wise” education was to perform water quality tests. The tests were linked to the World Water Monitoring Programme and miniSASS. The first test was conducted at the base of the Jozini dam wall and the rest were spread out between our stops on the river. The water quality went from moderate to very poor as we journeyed farther away from the dam. It was interesting for us to see the actual effects of pollution and misuse. The last test was conducted at the bridge going to Sikhemelele Village. At this stage the group had to stop paddling on the river due to the possibilities of hippo and/or crocodile presence in that stretch of the river. Jules says:
“As young adults, we understand that we are a part of a precious generation. We know the importance of making a change and creating a difference and this can only start within one’s self-that is why we did this trip.”