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The partnership between The Mvula Trust and Limpopo Department of Education (LDoE) continues to deliver decent sanitation to schools in the province.
The MEC for Education, Mr. Ishmael Kgetjepe, accompanied by the acting Head of Department, Ms Ndiambani Beauty Mutheiwana, led a sod-turning ceremony on Friday, 11 September 2015 at Klaas Mothapo Secondary School, Ga- Mothapo village.
MEC Kgetjepe used the event to announce the department’s plan to roll out sanitation programmes in 26 schools across the province. Addressing attendees in Northern Sotho, Kgetjepe emphasized and reiterated the importance of sanitation in schools, and how it could assist to prevent the spread of diseases, not only amongst learners, but in the communities at large.
The current sanitation facilities at the school are dilapidated and pose safety and health hazards to the learners. The project will include the building of new modern ablution facilities suitable and conducive for provision of safe environment – and it will also include provision of water system at the school.
In addition, Chief Executive Officer of the Mvula Trust, Mr. Silas Mbedzi lauded efforts made by MEC Kgetjepe to wipe out sanitation backlog in the schools. He concluded by sharing his experiences regarding sanitation problems around the world.
“Few weeks ago I was in Sweden, Stockholm where I was attending the World Water Week Conference. It is said that millions of people in India relieve themselves in the bushes due to lack of sanitation facilities,” said Mbedzi.
Boasting more than 20 years of impressive record in delivering successful water and sanitation projects in the rural and peri-urban areas of South Africa, the Mvula Trust has been assigned with responsibility to spearhead the implementation of this task at the Klaas Mothapo Secondary School.
The event was graced by, amongst other community leaders, Kgoshigadi of the Bakgaga ba Mothapo and also Member of Parliament, Ms Madipoane Refiloe Moremadi Mothapo.
The project is expected to start immediately and it will be expedited to ensure that learners receive value from this investment.
It is undeniably true that majority of rural households in South Africa continue to live in abject poverty on daily basis. In an effort to tackle this scourge, former President Thabo Mbeki once posed a question to residents in one of the rural villages: “How are you using water to be economically active?”
Research conducted by a non – governmental organisation called the Association for Water and Rural Development (AWARD) in 13 villages in the Bushbuckridge area showed that where villagers had more water, economic activities of many poor households in the village increased twice. Typical examples of activities included brick making, drinking water for livestock, small businesses such as hair salons, home beer brewing, and ice making as well as backyard or community gardens.
Provision of water enhances local economic development and people’s livelihood – making significant contribution towards community upliftment. In addition, it helps households to generate income, especially when there is a gap in the market for locally produced goods.
Food security and income: A case study of Ms Matshepo Khumbane
The organisation called International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in partnership with Water for Food Movement (WfFM) studied the food production practices of Ms Matshepo Khumbane at her home near the town of Cullinan, located in the north eastern part of Tshwane Metro during 2002 winter season. In their study, IWMI discovered that Ms Khumbane produced almost a ton of vegetables on her small plot, which was laid out in such a way that it led rainwater directly into the vegetable beds every time it rained. In terms of value, Matshepo could sell and earn approximately R2 000 to buy maize meal for her household for the next six months.
She produced even more vegetables in summer, diffusing a notion that backyard gardens were no longer irrelevant.
The importance of rainwater harvesting
There are several sources of water and technologies that can be used to make additional water supply to households. Rainwater harvesting is one of those techniques that is gaining popularity again, after it was neglected for a longer period.
More than 60 different methods of rainwater harvesting are used in East African countries. There are, however, three most popular ways of harvesting rainwater in South Africa:
- To lead rainwater directly into trenched vegetable beds in the backyard.
- To build underground water tanks in the yard to catch and store rainwater for later use. People can build these underground tanks with cement blocks or other materials themselves.
- To channel water in the maize fields into earth semi-circles or bunds, called ‘in-field rainwater harvesting structures’- so that rainwater is concentrated onto the crops. These methods can be used to provide water to households for different purposes.
MUS as a solution to water supply: A case study of Bushbuckridge Local Municipality
In 2005, the Association of Water and Rural Development (AWARD) piloted the implementation of multiple use system (MUS) in Ward 16 of the Bushbuckridge Local Municipality in Limpopo. AWARD used a community-based organisational approach model and worked with closely with, among others, the former Departments of Water Affairs and now Department of Water and Sanitation, Agriculture, and Social Development. This process comprised participatory assessment of water-based livelihoods, water services and water resources available in the local villages.
This approach was known as Securing Water to Enhance Local Livelihoods (SWELL). Based on the assessment, a joint planning process was followed.
Immediate refurbishment of infrastructure was prioritised.
Funds were allocated from the Integrated Development Plan to refurbish the water infrastructure.
One of the sources of water identified was small earth dams for cattle. Many of these dams had silted up. Residents resorted to domestic water systems to provide drinking water for their livestock. In response to this challenge, the Department of Agriculture committed to clean up the dams and residents put anti-erosion measures in place to prevent dams from silting again. Rainwater harvesting was also identified as one of sources that required possible exploration.
The pilot project was used to focus on the implementation and monitoring, working closely with the stakeholders, not only to solve water problems in the area – but also to use the project as a trial with a view to improve the Integrated Development Plan as well as water planning and implementation.
The Mvula Trust has, over the years, piloted and refined its implementation of the Community Based Organisational Approach Model informed by a number of sound principles.
The model focuses on a community management approach through which a local water committee plays a key role in the implementation of a water project.
Our approach for implementation of projects ensures that:
Thorough feasibility studies in technical, social, institutional and financial assessments to ensure the overall viability of proposed projects.
Participatory project planning, where all stakeholders as well as local government and community representatives participate in key decision making.
Decision making is focused on the appointment of legal water services provider (WSP), level of service, choice of technology and roles and responsibilities of service providers.
A holistic project design that addresses all components necessary for sustainability including community needs; choosing appropriate technology ; health and hygiene practices; institutional capacity building; cost recovery, and effective operations and maintenance.
A construction phase that focuses on community awareness, local capacity building, entrepreneurial skills development, and use of local labour.
Operations and Maintenance (O&M) mentoring phase ensures that:
The water service provider has the necessary capacity to effectively fulfil its functions of operations and maintenance, revenue collection, customer relations, monitoring and reporting.
Support mechanisms are in place.
Health and hygiene promotion continues within the community.
Development of partnerships between local government, the community and water services institutions
A monitoring and evaluation phase where information is used to take any corrective action needed.
According to the statistics provided by the Department of Water Affairs (now Department of Water and Sanitation), 1.6 million people in South Africa did not have access to formal water supplies in 2010.
Although these figures may have significantly changed since then, the actual backlog of water supply in the rural areas, among others, is caused by operational and maintenance issues.
This phenomenon continues to happen despite significant investment and interventions by government to provide citizens with clean drinking water.
Our Community Based Organisational Approach Model has been tried and tested in many of our projects we implemented in rural areas across the country.
In addition, The Mvula Trust boasts an international reputation for advancing community based management of water and other developmental projects.
The proper implementation of both the Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) and Water Services Development Plans (WSDPs) should ensure sustainable provision of services to citizens – passing down the legacy to our future generations.
Case Studies: Ga – Rankuwa and Mabopane townships
Ga-Rankuwa, a township located in the north western part of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality had networks of water designed based on the cheapest capital costs.
This resulted in pipes made of asbestos and cement used for water distribution in areas of heaving clay. The aforementioned pipes have many joints, and they are short and stiff.
During rainy season, the clay will get wet and swells; resulting in pipes bursting at the joints.
Negative effects of burst pipes
Maintenance costs: Sending workforce to dig up the pipes and repair leaks.
Water losses: Leaks are not detected immediately and they can run for long time without being noticed
Disruptions: Water supply is interrupted during repair of leakages
Although all water networks have challenges, fifty leaks were identified in Ga – Rankuwa within one week.
Consequently, maintenance of water networks becomes more expensive. Nowadays, it is recommended that organizations use plastic pipes to build new water networks as they are cost effective. The cost of building new water networks can be reduced significantly.
One more problem has been identified in Mabopane, another township based in the Tshwane Metro.
Mid-block water pipes were installed in the backyard of residential houses. through the implementation of the so-called cost saving measures. This setup creates problems when there are maintenance duties that should be carried out on the pipes.
In addition, it makes life difficult for residents; their gardens get damaged during installations and maintenance duties.
It is therefore important to be careful when planning integration of services. Proper assessment of both the capital and operating costs of the infrastructure using life cycle costing and selecting the most appropriate long term solutions is crucial. In the future, service delivery will not only depend on infrastructure; it will also rely on the sustainable provision of services.
The long-term solution to this problem, among others, is to build new water networks in the streets. Unnecessary expenditures could be avoided if life cycle costing can be done properly.
As a result, funds that will be saved through that process could be used to speed up delivery of services to other areas.
Better life for all should not be restricted to merely provision of housing; however, it should be done through the integration of sustainable basic services, which include delivery of water, sanitation and waste removal.
It is on this basis that we advocate long term solutions in the provision of basic services to the public at large and our future generations.
In honour of National Water Week, I have made it my duty to make everyone understand the significance of this valuable resource called water. Water is a generally scarce resource and a source of livelihood which has no substitute. Therefore, it needs to be conserved and this can be done in a number of ways.
Firstly, standpipes and taps must always be properly closed so as to avoid water wastage. Take the time to make sure that this has been done properly. It is important to try and consume at least two litres of water on a daily basis, so we need to pray for rain so as to fill up our water sources. One should always purify water that has not been treated, for example, by boiling or adding a small amount of Jik to it.
As a commemoration of National water week, myself and my colleagues identified a High School, Sophathisana SSS, where we organised a celebration of the National Water Week at the school and invited the Departments of Education, Health, Water and Sanitation; The School Governing Body (SGB); school educators and principal to grace the event with their presence and also to give messages of support over and above the one given by The Mvula Trust.
The event was very successful, and we issued educators with golf shirts branded ‘The Mvula Trust’. We also held a dancing competition for the learners where all four participants were issued with the golf shirts, and the winner was given a R50 cash prize. I was the Programme Director/M.C for the day and I have been told that I lived up to the expectation.
It is my sincere hope that everyone involved was able to gain insight into how important it is to appreciate the value of water by making every day a water day and celebrating it on a daily basis.
While grey water re-use is common practice in rural South Africa, urban South Africa are still debating the merits of water quality, public health, considering socio-economic factors, community perceptions and hydro- geologic conditions.
What is Grey Water?
Grey water is made up of water from the bath, shower, bathroom sink and washing. It is not advisable to use your kitchen water as it might be damaging to plant life because of the fat content. Grey water also does not include used water from the toilet as that water is called “black water”. Most of the concerns about grey water have to do with the hygiene aspect and the odours of the water, but both these aspects are eliminated if the water is re-used as soon as possible. Allowing grey water to pool for extended times, can lead to contamination.
Where to re-use?
The average suburban garden accounts for about 35% of domestic water consumption in South Africa. It is therefore useful to know that grey water can be re-used for activities such as gardening, agriculture, aquifer recharge, aquaculture, firefighting, flushing of toilets, industrial cooling, parks and golf course watering, formation of wetlands for wildlife habitats, recreational impoundments and essentially for several other non-potable requirements.
The potential reuses of water depend on the hydraulic and biochemical characteristics of wastewater, which determine the methods and degree of treatment required. While agricultural irrigation reuses in general, require lower quality levels of treatment, domestic reuse options need a higher treatment level. The level of treatment for other reuse options lie between these two extremes.
Re-use for indoors
The easiest applications of grey water include washing floors, windows and cars. Washing carpets, as well as wiping off window sills and security gates are other applications for grey water. Often, consumers judge the capacity to re-use water by the colour quality of the water. This should not be the criteria when deciding to re-use water. Should the colour of the water influence its re-use inside the house, it can always be used in the garden.
Re-use for agriculture
The oldest and largest reuse of water is for the irrigation of agricultural crops. If poorly planned and managed, the potential constraints in this type of application include surface and groundwater pollution, low marketability of crops and low public acceptance of crops. The quality of soil and crops, as well as public health concerns related to pathogens in the water should motivate the proper planning of water re-use for agricultural purposes.
Many research studies have however proved that in addition to providing a low-cost water source, other side benefits of using wastewater for irrigation include increase in crop yields, decreased reliance on chemical fertilizers, and increased protection against frost damage.
Re-use for landscaping
The application of reclaimed wastewater for landscape irrigation includes use in public parks, golf courses, urban green belts, freeway medians, cemeteries, and residential lawns. This type of application is one of the most common applications of wastewater reuse worldwide.
Examples of such uses can be found in USA, Australia, Japan, Mexico and Saudi Arabia among others. These schemes have been operating successfully in many countries for many years without attracting adverse comments.
The soap and other residues in the water can provide useful sulphates and nitrates, when diluted and in some instances it can act as a fertilizer and therefore be beneficial to the garden. This type of application therefore has the potential to improve the amenity of the urban environment.
However, such schemes must be carefully run to avoid problems with community health. Because the water is used in areas that are open to public, there is potential for human contact, so reuse water must be treated to a high level to avoid risk of spreading diseases. Other potential problems of application for landscape irrigation concern aesthetics such as odour, insects, and problems deriving from build-up of nutrients.
By segregating the “grey” silage from “black” toilet wastes, the potential for reuse with minimal treatment within the household enhances manifold. There are several different schemes for reusing grey water at the household levels. In California in the United States, systems which use treated grey water have been in use for many years and studies have shown no health problems associated with the use. In non-sewered areas of Australia, a simple valve arrangement for diversion of bathroom grey water for garden watering has been developed.
Several countries around the world, including Japan, the United States and Australian authorities introduced comprehensive guidelines for grey water recycling systems in individual households. The separation of grey water at the household is being implemented by these countries with great success.
The potential ecological benefits of grey water recycling include deep percolation, lower fresh water extraction from rivers and aquifers, less impact from septic tank and treatment plant infrastructure, as well as topsoil nitrification. A reduction in energy use and chemical pollution from treatment, increased plant growth, the reclamation of nutrients and greater quality of surface and ground water are only some of the potential benefits that necessitates policy intervention around grey water use in South Africa.
Use Technology in Maize Agriculture
Maize is of particular importance in South Africa, because it is a staple crop. Maize agriculture accordingly plays a pivotal role in food security, constituting of about 70% of grain production in South Africa. It is estimated that 60% of the population directly depends on agriculture for their livelihood. Against this backdrop, it is forecast that the mean rainfall over the next 50 years, will decrease by as much as 5–10% (Durand 2006). The Mvula Trust is therefore undertaking a study that is focused on increasing the water use efficiency in rain-fed as well as irrigated maize agriculture, without decreasing yield productivity in Limpopo province.
Food security is one of the key requirements to long-term and sustainable economic growth in South Africa. The expected imbalance in food demand due to poor crop yields, scarcity in surface water resources, and the projected increase in population pose a great challenge to future economic growth. Just over the last season, maize production in South Africa decreased by approximately 15% from the previous season. It has long been accepted that in order to enhance food security under our dwindling water resources and the changing climate regimes, that a new approach is urgently required. Climate change is upon us and the challenges in water scarcity are developing rapidly. Our ability to develop and apply sustainable water use techniques will therefore determine the state of food security both at present and the future.
At present, the challenges experienced by farmers include the aridity of the agro-ecological zones, the unreliability at the onset of the planting season as well as at the end of the growing season. In-season dry spells, declining water resources, changing climate, and poor agronomic water use are some of the additional challenges experienced by all farmers.
To date, fixed-time crop calendars are in use that advices farmers on the planting and irrigation process that are linked to specific seasonality, ground conditions and other factors. The variability in the seasonal conditions are however making it impossible to use those calendars. Even under conditions where supplementary irrigation is used, as is the case in most agro-ecological regions of South Africa, precipitation constitutes the major source of water.
Both rain fed and irrigated crops require the efficient use of available soil moisture, but lack of comprehensive cropping guidelines that are adapted to the current changing climatic and other farming conditions; means that the crops will still be exposed to poor germination and low crop yield levels (Hussein, 1987; de Jong, 1993). Considering these challenges, better on-farm operational decision-support systems are needed. It is also important however that these tools are technically simple in order to allow for ease of use by farmers.
The research study is dealing with three key aspects that include building scientific knowledge, the development of new water management tools, as well as capacity building. In building scientific knowledge, critical gaps in water budgets in rain-fed and irrigated maize production will be identified, based on different soil types, maize varieties, and climatic as well as the different weather conditions.
The second aspect deals with the development of easy-to-use operational water management tools based on the analyses in aspect one. In this phase, two sets of experiments are taking place for the development of simplified operational weather-based crop calendars and evaluation; based on soil types, maize growing areas, and climatic conditions. The third aspect involves performing field trials with volunteer famers, as well as training farmers on how to use simple, operational, weather-based, cropping calendars for different maize varieties and different soil regimes.
The study includes novel exploratory experiments in order to collect indigenous knowledge, as well as the integration of the findings in order to obtain the guidelines needed to develop operational water management tools. Outcomes of the research study include the development of new maps of agro-climatic zones and the exchange of technology and methods between scientist(s) and farmers. Capacity building will take place at both a personal and community level, the empowerment of farmers with better tools and techniques and the publication of the research results for information dissemination purposes; are other outcomes of the study.
… the empowerment of farmers with better water techniques …
by Kathy Eales, The Mvula Trust and Linda Tyers, DWAF Technical Assistance
Streamlined project business planning simplifies the task of the water services authority (WSA) in securing funds for a project – but unless that project business plan reflects more detailed planning elsewhere, the WSA could run into difficulties which will raise the cost of implementation, and compromise long term sustainability.
Project planning begins with the water Services development plan (WSDP) and municipal Sanitation Strategy. The Project Implementation Plan applies the broad municipal Sanitation Strategy to a defined geographical area, with its own unique needs and challenges. Local consultation and local data verification is essential, as desktop information is frequently inaccurate or out of date!
The municipal Sanitation Strategy should be completed before Project Business and Implementation Plans are submitted – and funds are available from the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF) to fund this planning.
This Implementation Plan must be approved by both the targeted community and the WSA before submission to the funder. Where DWAF is the external funder, the Sanitation Project Implementation Plan data is easily summarised and entered onto DWAF’s web-based business planning contract document – Per Form Developer. The detailed Implementation Plan is then submitted as an annexure to the web business plan, elaborating on particular items, and explaining why particular approaches will be followed, and acting as a tool for monitoring and evaluating progress throughout project implementation.
SANITATION PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
I. Baseline survey
The baseline survey profiles the status quo in the targeted settlement. It is comprised of:
1 Settlement profile
- Growth and development trajectory,
- Demographic, health and income profile,
- Water and sanitation facilities and backlogs, and
- Local representation and leadership structures.
2 Groundwater protocol
A desk top assessment of local geo-hydrological factors which could influence technology options.
3 Technical assessment
What toilet technologies and designs are feasible and appropriate.
4 Training needs assessment
What local skills will be required to support project implementation, what skills already exist locally, and what skills training will be needed.
The baseline survey informs the scope of work (including activities, costs and time frames).
II. Scope of Work
1. Institutional and social development (ISD)
- Local project representation and management structure – including the role of women.
- What type of user education will be needed to address local needs?
- Health and hygiene promotion,
- Operation and maintenance (O&M) information, and
- How impacts will be assessed.
- Skills development programme – for whom, and with what intended measurable outcomes.
- Synergy with other local development projects, notably water and housing.
- Project implementation methodology, detailing who will undertake which activities.
2. Construction of toilets and hand washing facilities
- What type of toilets and hand-washing facilities will be built: household, clinic and schools?
- Options for designs and materials, with full costing and details of sources of supply.
- Construction methodology.
- Arrangements for desludging or relocation when ventilated improved pit (VIP) toilets are full.
- Local economic development opportunities for local service providers (e.g. block makers).
3. Institutional linkages
- Linkages with local representation and coordination structures.
- Linkages with municipal and Department of Health health and hygiene initiatives.
- Provision for long term O&M support.
4. Management systems
- Different roles and role players, by department and agency.
- Coordination and reporting functions.
5. Conformance with policy
Details on how the project will address national policy requirements.
- Capital cost.
- Funding plan (sources of funds).
- Annual and monthly cash flow requirements.
7. Time schedule and milestones
8. Monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment
- Format, with key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Close out report format.
- Project audit as required by funders.
- Evidence of approval by the WSA and local Project Steering Committee (PSC).
- Locality map and 1:50 000 footprint of the project.
- ISD report.
- Geo-technical information, including groundwater protocol.
- Technical drawings of toilets that will be built.
- Schedule of quantities and costing.
- Cash flow forecast.
IV. Executive summary
The executive summary is a key part of the appraisal process and must be comprehensive:
- Project location.
- Summary description of the settlement and beneficiary community.
- Purpose of the intervention, addressing locally specific needs.
- Project objectives, including skills transfer and long term sustainability.
- Quantity, design and technology type of toilet units required.
- Synergy with other local development initiatives.
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
As The National Water Week comes to a close The Mvula Trust participation to a cause they are deeply invested in has been nothing short of sensational. All garbed in their “The Mvula Trust” branded Caps and T-shirts with a Water bottle in-hand, they are truly reflecting the importance and the value of this scarce resource. What are you doing to ensure the protection of water so that we may continue living a sustainable life?