The 16th of March 2015 marked the beginning of the South African National WATER Week, a Department of Water and Sanitation initiative. This campaign is a great device in reiterating and escalating the importance of WATER, the value for continued management of this scarce resource and the role WATER plays in eliminating poverty and under-development in South Africa.

The Department of WATER and Sanitation’s theme “WATER has no substitute” is a welcomed theme and one that finds us prepared and ready for National WATER Week action as The Mvula Trust. A substitute is something or someone acting on behalf of another. WATER is a resource that cannot be substituted or replaced.“ WATER has no substitute” to those people and communities that have to walk for kilometers just to get a few liters of WATER daily.

WATER is no substitute for those who are calculated in the 400 Million people with severe WATER shortages. WATER is no substitute for the 2 Billion people without access to safe supply of drinking and cooking WATER. WATER as a resource cannot be simply explained as WATER for those who do not have the privilege of access to it through the simple turn of a tap.

To these people, these communities, and these lives “WATER has no substitute”. We as The Mvula Trust say along with the Department of WATER and Sanitation we are holding hands and joining in the plight to fight and work together to bring awareness to communities, lives and people. Together we say “WATER has no substitute”. The National WATER week campaign seeks to continue building on the ongoing awareness creation within the broader South African community.

This awareness creation is coupled with the responsibility that every citizen must take in ensuring the integrity of our WATER resources and its efficient use. Particularly, the linkages between WATER services, supply, resource management, poverty eradication, social and economic development are emphasised in a number of innovative ways. The campaign has been influenced by local needs and international sectoral trends.

Although it is a known fact that about 70 percent of the earth is covered in WATER, only a fraction of this amount is made up of freshwater. If all the earth’s WATER were stored in a five-liter container, the available freshwater would not quite fill a teaspoon. “Water for thought”, with that said The Mvula Trust has invented a “memorable phrase” that not only represents the importance or the value of this statement and WATER as a resource, but also illustrates the unity amongst a people who rely solely on its existence.

“Behind WATER, behind Life, Behind People” is our memorable phrase.

This phrase points to a stimulating chapter in the organisation’s life. The phrase, simply conveys our over 21 years of service delivery contribution, our continuous growth development and implementation of WATER supply to rural, peri-urban and urban communities across South Africa. The WATER scarcity problem is real, it is also extremely serious and a major global challenge. With the effects of pollution, over consumption and relentless population growth, The Mvula Trust’s memorable phrase, “Behind WATER, behind Life, Behind People” is being used as an instrument to awaken people’s interest in WATER and its conservation methods.

Our WATER and Soil conservation and Spring Protection Programme are amongst the numerous projects that The Mvula Trust is connected with in affiliation with this National WATER Week and eradicating poverty in our country.

The WATER and Soil Conservation programme’s main aims are to protect the most important elements of our earth which is WATER and Soil. The Spring WATER Protection Programme covers the rural areas and local municipalities. The programme addresses the WATER services backlog, improvement of service levels and contributing to sustainable development. The objective of the programme is to improve the quality of life (health & hygiene), to eliminate poverty in rural communities in South Africa, to ensure the employment of local workers, capacitates and empowers emerging contractors, to provide opportunities to local suppliers and the transfer of long-term skills to local workers.

To commemorate this world event, on 20 March 2015, all The Mvula Trust staff will be wearing their “Behind WATER, behind life and Behind people” either T-shirts or caps to work first to commemorate and second to signify the importance of WATER.

The Mvula Trust
A leading developmental NGO