This winter, as one of the Department of Zoology’s annual community engagement initiatives, Dr Cobus van Dyk, visited Soweto’s Kliptown Youth Program (KYP) where he presented a workshop for high school learners from the surrounding informal settlement. The workshop raised awareness and provided basic education about water pollution and the conservation and monitoring of river systems.
A short lecture was presented on the research projects currently underway on the polluted Klipspruit River flowing through Kliptown and basic experiments on water purification were demonstrated. The learners were also informed on how aquatic animals can be used as bio-indicators of aquatic pollution where after they were given the opportunity to identify and study different macroinvertebrates using dissection microscopes.
“The aim of this ongoing initiative is to instill the importance of water conservation in the youth of disadvantaged communities residing alongside polluted rivers and to create awareness about the importance of protecting these precious and limited freshwater resources for future generations,” said Dr van Dyk.
KYP’s mission is to provide opportunities that will enable young people to rise out of poverty. It seeks to develop young and dynamic individuals who are willing to contribute effectively for the betterment of their community. The Department of Zoology thanked the coordinators of the KYP: Mr Thulani Mhambi and Mr Siphiwe Mhlaba, for arranging the use of the KYP classroom on the day.