Paulos Ngobeni Primary School – Water Week Skype lesson with the USA

Paulos Ngobeni Primary learners glued to the laptop for their Skype session


As the readers are no doubt aware, World Water Week took place in March this year. Since education of learners, students and the general public in conservation and conservation activities is one of HESC‘s primary objectives, water wise initiatives are very important to us. You will recall that we held educational sessions about water with Paulos Ngobeni Primary School last year too.

It was our intention to get interaction going between our local school – Paulos Ngobeni Primary, and Gray’s Creek Elementary in North Carolina, USA, to share ideas on water conservation. However, coordinating a cross-cultural educational interaction between the two schools via Skype from the Lente Roode Education Centre at HESC during Water Week, proved challenging. The learners at Paulos Ngobeni Primary had exams during that period, followed by school holidays. And trying to get a suitable time for a skype session – with a time difference between the two continents of six hours, required careful consideration.

The two groups finally managed to connect recently to share what they had learned about the importance of water conservation during World Water Week.

Gray’s Greek Elementary School asked the learners from Paulos Ngobeni Primary the following questions:

  • How do you retrieve most of your water?
  • How do you use most water at home?
  • Are there certain days or times you may use or go retrieve water?
  • What is water week?  Do you participate in it at school?  If so, what do your teachers do for water week?  How can we participate in it?
  • How do people conserve water in rural South Africa?  How do they conserve water in the city?
  • What advice would you give us to help save water in the United States?

Paulos Ngobeni Primary learners connect via Skype to America


Answers from Paulos Ngobeni scholars:

Most of the water we use in the community is either gathered from the river, or we collect rain water in buckets. This water is used for doing laundry and washing dishes, or for sewage.

There are three JoJo tanks that hold water used for irrigation at the school. When the tanks run out, the government supplies them with water.

Since there is no running water in some rural areas, households fill buckets for their homes which is used for everyday uses like drinking and cooking. Dirty dishwater is used to water plants.

Instead of using a garden hose to wash cars and mini buses, a bucket is filled with water. Water consumption is far lower using this method.

We can all learn a few tips from our rural community how to conserve water. Next time you wash your car, use a bucket rather than a garden hose, and recycle domestic water in your garden.