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Water Wise Watch - April 2021


April Logo

This month at Water Wise

earth day

Every year on April 22, the world commemorates Earth Day where environmental activists mobilize action against environmental pollution. This movement began in 1970 in USA, where concerns regarding environmental degradation were becoming serious and significant. Environmental activist at the time noticed that the public had little to no concerns about the impact of leaded gases produced by massive and inefficient automobiles, and smoke or sludge produced and released from industrial activities. Air pollution was commonly accepted as the smell of prosperity. The movement against pollution soon gained momentum, reaching other countries in an effort to raise awareness about environmental health. To date, Earth Day is marked by millions of people every year as a day of restoring the Earth through environmental initiatives.  

This year's theme is "Restore our Earth" and to do so, the EARTHDAY.ORG has organised three separate climate action summits on April 20 - 22 2021. The summits will focus on climate literacy, environmental justices and a broad range of youth led-climate-focused issues. In addition, the organisation has a list of 51 actions and tips on how one can make a difference, every day of the year. You can visit the website to learn more on how you can restore the earth. 

As a Water Wise initiative you can "Restore our Earth" by contributing to the fight of food waste through composting. Learn how to make your own compost here.


Water Wise a beacon of hope for communities

The South African government uses three threshold points to measure poverty within the population. The upper-bound poverty line depicts incomes of R 1183 per month. The lower-bound and food poverty lines depict incomes of R 785 and R 547, respectively. The Department of Statistics South Africa has indicated that 49.2% of the population over the age of 18 years falls below the upper-bound poverty line. This indicates that South Africa has a serious poverty crisis. The Covid-19 pandemic has not made things easier as it is forecasted that 1 million South Africans will be pushed into poverty. As a result, people will find it difficult to afford buying food or other essential goods. One way of alleviating hunger and poverty is to start a vegetable garden that can help feed a family or community. To generate money, the growers can sell the vegetables and buy other essential goods. 

As Water Wise, one of our many mandates is to assist community members from disadvantaged backgrounds with starting a sustainable water wise vegetable garden. This we do through education and awareness programs. The vegetable gardens help feed and sustain the livelihoods of families and other community members. This month we feature a community group called Ratang Bana from Alexandra. The aim of the group is to provide food to orphans, community members affected by HIV and poverty stricken families. Rantang Bana was an existing garden and began their journey with Water Wise in 2015, and to date, the vegetable garden sustainably feeds the community members. Below are images taken during the handover ceremony, where participants received certificates for completing the Water Wise training program and successfully implementing what they have learnt. 


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Images above were taken at Ratang Bana where participants were given certificates for completing the Water Wise training program. Images of before (top right) and after (bottom) the establishment of the garden.  

Water Wise gardening ideas

Home-made organic pest control remedies

Pest that occur in our gardens can affect the growth and quality of our produce, impacting severely on crop yield. Pest outbreaks have at times been linked to the changing climate, which has a direct impact on food security. Pesticides have been traditionally used to eradicate pests, with little care given to the impact it could have on the environment. Pesticides can be harmful to soil, water quality, beneficial insects such as pollinators and even other plants. Small scale growers can use organic pesticides produced from garlic, chillies or less harmful detergent such as liquid soap (in smaller amounts) to help deter pests. Below are two common home-made remedies used to deter pests:

  1. Soap spray solution: Used for aphids, spider mites and whiteflies
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid soap
  • 4.5 litres of water
Procedure for application: Mix the ingredients in a spray bottle, spray the upper and lower sides of the leaves, re-apply the solution after rain or irrigation.
  1. Garlic and pepper spray: Used against diamondback moths, caterpillars hornworms, aphids, flea beetles and other insects


  • 6 gloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried hot pepper
  • 1 minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid soap (to keep solution on leaves longer)
  • 4.5 litres of water

Procedure for application: Blend all ingredients and allow for them to stand for two days. Strain the mixture and use as a spray. Spray the upper and bottom side of the leaves once a week and re-apply the solution after rain or irrigation.

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Whitefly 1 Aphids 1

 Images above of common pests found in the garden.

WW tip of the month


Immediately report leaks!

In order to successfully eradicate the impact of leaks on water loss, it is vital that leaks or burst pipes are immediately reported to your local municipality. If you see a leak in the street, don't assume the municipality is aware of it.
Report the leak or burst pipe to your municipality by logging a call with the municipal services call centre, by communicating via the municipality's social media pages or other official platforms. 
To report leaks observed on any bulk supply pipelines of Rand Water contact 0860101060.

Follow us on our social media

Have a look at our latest Water Wise tips on detecting leaks in your home. Our team gives you advice on what to do if you suspect you have a leak. Watch these videos on our Facebook page by clicking here.

Click on the links below to access our social media pages for more on water and environmental news and issues.


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Environmental days

April Calender

07 April: World Health Day

13 April: International Plant Appreciation Day

14 April: Dolphin Day

22 April: Earth Day

Water and environmental news

South Africa’s freshwater fish face extinction
“Half a century ago, Clanwilliam sawfins thrived in most of the rivers draining South Africa’s spectacular Cederberg Wilderness Area. Today, this muscular rugged-finned freshwater fish is listed as ‘near threatened’ by the IUCN Red List, with just 11 riverine populations now remaining. Predation by invasive bass on young sawfins is the number one...” 
Clanwilliam sawfins
Durban construction firm fined R7,5 million for wetland damage
“Controversial Durban construction firm, Wood Glaze (Pty) Ltd, has been fined a whopping R7.5 million in the Durban Regional Court after depositing waste material on and damaging a wetland it had earmarked for a housing development. National Prosecuting Authority regional spokesperson...”
Wetland destroyed
Netcare and Standard Bank in R1bn ‘green bond’ deal
“South Africa’s largest hospital group, JSE-listed Netcare, on Wednesday announced the launch of a sustainability-linked bond in partnership with Standard Bank, the continent’s biggest bank. Essentially falling under the ‘green bond’ concept, the move will see Netcare access funds to support its business becoming more...”
One in five children globally does not have enough water to meet their everyday needs – UNICEF
“Globally, more than 1.42 billion people, including 450 million children, live in areas of high, or extremely high, water vulnerability, according to a new analysis released by UNICEF. This means that 1 in 5 children worldwide does not have enough water to meet their everyday needs.”

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