Student run organisation, Galela Amanzi, continues to be dedicated to the cause of improving water quality for Makana residents. In addition to the 27 tanks that they have installed in various sites around Makana, they also seek to educate and empower people to test the quality of their own water on a regular basis. Zintle Dolweni reports “The main project we are working on this year is starting a water quality monitoring program that will allow citizens to test whether or not their water is safe for drinking,” said Galela Amanzi chairperson Ameil Harikishun. The project is working alongside Dr. Roman Tandlich from the Rhodes University pharmacy department, who has developed an affordable water test, which consists of a sulphite strip with nutrients in it. It is easy to use, as you merely have to drop it in your water sample and shake. After 72 hours, if the strip is black, that means that traces of microbes have been found in the water making it unsafe to drink.
“The great thing about this test is that it is easy to roll-out to existing tanks and is quick way for anybody to routinely check the quality of water,” Harikishun said. The organisation is also looking to encourage more student involvement and boost general awareness. “I am currently in the process of staring up a newsletter to inform people about what we have done so far,” said Elri Steenkamp, Galela Amanzi’s Media Coordinator . The organisation recently partnered up with the Allan Grey Centre for Leadership Ethics and hosted an open space workshop for the existential conversations course. The success of this event encouraged them to consider coordinating a parallel event for Water community councillors in the broader Grahamstown community, as a way to engage with Grahamstown citizens about their issues with water. In addition to this, Galela Amanzi is collaborating with Water for Dignity, to conduct citizen report cards at each one of the sites where water tanks have been installed. This is in an effort to communicate with people using that specific tank and ask them important questions about water scarcity issues. The visits to the sites should begin by the start of next semester. If you are interested in getting involved:
- Contact on Galela.ru(at)gmail.com or the 2015 Chair, Ameil Harikishun harikishuna(at)gmail.com
- Twitter: @GalelaAmanzi http://www.ru.ac.za/communityengagement/svp/studentinitiatives/galelaamanzi
- Facebook: Galela Amanzi