By Nompilo Mncube
Galela Amanzi – “pour the water” – is a Rhodes University student-based project that installs rainwater tanks in disadvantaged regions of Grahamstown. Since its launch in 2007, Galela Amanzi has successfully installed close to 30 rainwater tanks across the Makana area.
The project was elected as the Rhodes community engagement initiative in 2008 and from 2010 was established as a student society.
“We work with the community engagement office at Rhodes and they suggest sites to us,” said Thando Maurice, site/launch manager of Galela Amanzi.
Galela Amanzi has a variety of sponsors such as Checkers and some private schools. They also work in partnership with organisations such as Water for Dignity and Children of the Soil.
“Galela Amanzi is the embodiment of ubuntu. We exist because of the partnerships and networks we have established,” Maurice said.
The project promotes healthy and sustainable communities by providing water for cooking and drinking; for community vegetable gardens; and for the continued functioning of schools facing water supply problems.
Galela Amanzi external liaison, Ameil Harikishun, said the society is working on a sustainable water testing initiative.
“We are working with a researcher in the pharmacy department so that we can not only go back and test tanks already installed, but we can educate and empower people to test their own water,” he said.
Galela Amanzi will work closely with Water for Dignity in implementing the water testing initiative along with addressing issues around tank vandalism in communities.
Water for Dignity has a project called ‘One Tank, One Street’ where in a case of vandalism the community is able to take ownership of the tank.
Anje Niemandt, Chairperson of Galela Amanzi, said this year they also partnered up with Children of the Soil to promote sustainable living in communities and schools.
The society is planning to have a tank launch soon and has upcoming projects, such as community engagement week displays, in the coming weeks.
You can follow Galela Amanzi on twitter @GalelaAmanzi, or join their facebook group Galela Amanzi – Pour the Water, or check out their website galelaamanziru.blogspot.com.