In the News 2019-04-08T00:53:40+00:00

In the News

Royal & International Recognition for Ebomvini Water Explorers

Ebomvini Primary’s Water Explorer team from Izingolweni, South Coast once again made waves as they were recognised for their incredible commitment to sustainability practices by winning the youth category of the World Water Food and Air Awards (WAFA). On Thursday 7 February HRH Princess Zama Zulu presented the school this International award (www.wafaward.org) for their outstanding contribution that has not only benefitted their school, but their community.

We are honoured to receive the WAFA award, it is so important that we look after our water resources and biodiversity as this will in turn ensure our food security in the future. WAFA  inspires us to continue our efforts to help develop learners into caring citizens who value their natural environment” said Poppy George one of the educators.

Amidst the jubilation and celebration there was a very serious angle to the day as the Princess was taken on a guided walk around the school to see what kind of action projects Ebomvini had undertaken. Some of the projects on show was the pond they built to attract frogs into their permaculture garden. Maintaining the garden with grey water and mulching to prevent evaporation was an aspect that two of the learners explained was a key water saving activity of the school. They explained and showed how tippy taps were always available for washing hands and the drinking buckets and cups are in every class so water wastage is minimised.

HRH Princess Zama was humbled and honoured to be presenting the award to such an inspiring team. “You are all a ray of light and hope not just for your school and community but for the whole world. I am deeply impressed by the knowledge around environmental issues the learners have demonstrated as well as their innovation, the eco-brick furniture is fantastic!”

At the end of last year their Water Explorer team was recognised as South Africa’s top Water Explorer team by an expert panel of sustainability specialists. They then went on to represent South Africa at the International Water Explorer event in London and were awarded the Innovation and Student’s Choice award. Since then, they have spoken on Radio Stations like Ukhozi FM, been filmed by SABC 3’s 50/50 and appeared on ENCA news and featured in many newspapers.

Their newfound fame has, however not distracted them from their mission, as Water Explorer coordinator and teacher Youth Mavundla says, “we are so grateful for the recognition and experiences we have had through our efforts, but it is not about the awards, it is about sustaining what we have started and inspiring other schools and people to get on board

WAFA (wafawards.org) recognises and promotes sustainable solutions that ensure safe drinking water, clean air and food for all.

View the original news article from Water Explore, South Africa,
Posted by Bridget Ringdahl on 11 February 2019

Royal salute for water-savvy school

Attending the Water Air Food Award certificate presentation at Ebomvini Primary last Thursday are (from left) Princess Zama Zulu-Shange, Ebomvini principal Nomvula Sebenza, pupils Asiphile Mkhonde and Esihle Gasa, teacher, Poppy George and Inkosi Themba Mavundla.

Winner of an innovation award at Water Explorer event in London last year,  Ebomvini Primary, of Izingolweni on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, has just finished first in the youth category at the World Water Food and Air Awards (WAFA).

Ebomvini Primary, of Izingolweni on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, finished first in the youth category at the recent World Water Food and Air Awards.

And to seal the deal, Princess Zama-Zulu Shange presented pupils and staff with a WAFA trophy and certificate on 7 February.

The award recognised the school’s inspirational commitment to sustainability practices, which have benefited its community.

Princess Shange was taken on a tour  to see the school’s projects in action. She was shown a pond built to attract frogs into a permaculture garden and was told how grey water fed the garden and mulching prevented evaporation. Other water saving schemes at the school included tippy taps and the princess saw how these simple contraptions were always available for washing hands. Drinking buckets and cups were in every class and also cut water wastage.

Princess Shange was wowed by the efforts and called the eco-brick furniture at the school, made from recycled material, “fantastic”.

“You are all a ray of light and hope not just for your school and community but for the whole world. I am deeply impressed by the knowledge around environmental issues the learners have demonstrated as well as their innovation,” she said.

Teacher Poppy George said the school was honoured to have received the award. “It is so important that we look after our water resources and biodiversity as this will in turn ensure our food security in the future. WAFA inspires us to continue our efforts to help develop learners into caring citizens who value their natural environment,” said George.

In October last year Ebomvini represented the country at the international Water Explorer event in London and was awarded the Innovation and Students’ Choice award.

View the original news article from Roving Reporters, DEVELOPING ENVIRONMENTAL WATCHDOGS FOR THE FUTURE, on 15 February 2019

More honours for water heroes at Ebomvini Primary

Attending the Water Air Food Award certificate presentation at Ebomvini Primary are (from left) Princess Zama Zulu-Shange, Ebomvini principal Nomvula Sebenza, pupils Asiphile Mkhonde and Esihle Gasa, teacher, Poppy George and Inkosi Themba Mavundla.

The water explorer team from Ebomvini Primary in Izingolweni once again made waves, winning the youth category at the World Water Food and Air Awards (WAFA). The school hopes to inspire and encourage other schools and people to get on board.

Last Thursday, HRH Princess Zama Zulu-Shange who is currently based in Denmark, came to the school to present them with the international award. Princess Zulu-Shange congratulated the school. “I am very excited and proud of you. I am speechless and feel like I need to cry because I am overwhelmed by joy. God bless you,” she said.

Teacher Poppy George said: “We are honoured to receive the WAFA Award, it is so important that we look after our water resources and biodiversity as this will, in turn, ensure our food security in the future. WAFA inspires us to continue our efforts to help develop learners into caring citizens who value their natural environment.”

Princess Zulu-Shange was taken on a guided tour of the school to view the action projects  undertaken by the school. These included the pond they built to attract frogs into their permaculture garden maintained with grey water and mulched to prevent evaporation as a key water saving activity of the school. The children explained how tippy taps were always available for washing hands and drinking buckets and cups were available in every class so water wastage is minimised.

“You are all a ray of light and hope not just for your school and community but for the whole world. I am deeply impressed by the knowledge around environmental issues the learners have demonstrated as well as their innovation, the eco-brick furniture is fantastic,” said the princess.

At the end of last year, the Ebomvini water explorer team was recognised as South Africa’s top water explorer team by an expert panel of sustainability specialists.

The team then went on to represent South Africa at the International Water Explorer event in London and were awarded the Innovation and Student’s Choice Award. Since then, they have spoken on radio stations such as Ukhozi FM, been filmed by SABC 3’s 50/50 and appeared on ENCA news and featured in many newspapers.

Water Explorer is an online fun, inspiring and educational programme which empowers learners to lead joint action on environmental issues looking through a ‘water lens’. Supported by GAP UK the programme started in 2014 and is implemented by a local partner, ACT (African Conservation Trust) in South Africa.

View the original news article from South Coast Herald, February 15, 2019

PPLF Bags WAFA Award on Food Category

The People and Planet Life Foundation (PPLF) has recently bagged an international award as it received the Water Air Food Award (WAFA) for the year 2018 in food category, Aquaculture Fish Farm project Nigeria which was given in accompany with a mouthwatering sum of money.

Disclosing this was the leader of the PPLF team, Mr. Nnadozie Ewilike who hinted that his organization emerged the winner of the award out of applications from Africa. During the award which was done by Dr. Hannan Zakaria who on behalf of WAFA president appreciated PPLF for their efforts in putting smiles on the faces of the rural dwellers.

However, the eve of the award ceremony witnessed the visitation of some of the fish farm project site of the PPLF and that of its beneficiaries by WAFA president which gave them the opportunity to interact the him. Meanwhile, the WAFA 2018 award was a great testimony that PPLF has made a landmark achievement since its establishment in 2012 with special regards to Mr. Chukwudi Anyanaso and his associates who shared the same passion, drive, empathy and values in pursuing the goal of the organization.

Conversely, People and Planet Life Foundation is a rural non-governmental organization that promotes zero poverty and hunger society for rural women through entrepreneurship education and establishment of farm ventures with its main objectives being the empowerment of women to become economically independent and increase their household income optimally.

It would be recalled that through the dogged efforts of the organization,any women have been self employed which has given them an them an edge over others when it comes to income generation and control with its corresponding effect being that sooner than layer, majority of the women, will become employers of labour and through such way, curtail the level of unemployment, depression, frustration and untimely death in the rural communities.

View the original news article from Newsday Express, Lagos, Nigeria

Healthier lifestyles gain ground in Nicaragua

Managua, Nov. (PL) The promotion of healthier lifestyles is now gaining ground in Nicaragua, after the Solar Project for Women in Nicaragua Foundation (Fuprosomunic) received the 2018 WAFA award for its sustainable, low-cost solutions.

Fuprosomunic is a non-governmental organization that promotes the use of solar energy in communities of the provinces of Granada and Masaya.

The Denmark-based organization WAFA (Water, Air and Food Awards) recognized the project for mobilizing community groups to promote healthier lifestyles.

The project features the construction of solar stoves and food dryers, while providing training in nutrition, bio-intensive home gardening, water purification, childcare, among other topics.

As reported, the solar ovens have diminished indoor air pollution considerably in the households where they have been implemented, and lessened deforestation.

Likewise, remarkable health improvements have followed from nutrition training and the gardening program, and some households have seen their incomes increased from selling surplus produce.
.

The program is expected to further strengthen the communities in Nicaragua where it has been implemented and generate a ripple effect to inspire other communities and society in general.

Winning projects of this year´s edition of WAFA, in addition to Nicaragua (Air), come from India (Water) and Nigeria (Food).

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The “Solar Project for Women of Nicaragua” Foundation received the WAFA Award 2018

Sunday November 4th, 2018 | El 19 Digital

FUPROSOMUNIC is a non-governmental organization that promotes the use of solar energy in the communities of the provinces of Granada and Masaya.
WAFA (Water, Air and Food Awards) is a Danish institution that promotes sustainable, low-cost solutions to ensure drinking water, clean air, and healthy food to all.
According to this institution’s press release, “FUPROSOMUNIC has mobilized community groups to promote healthier life styles: building solar ovens and food dryers, and learning about nutrition, self- supply home gardening, water purification, child care and other important topics. The solar ovens have considerably reduced indoor air pollutions and deforestation”.
The winning projects of the WAFA awards in 2018 came from Nicaragua (Air), India (Water), Nigeria (Food) and South Africa (Youth).

Foundation Solar project for Nicaraguan women receives WAFA 2018 Award

THE VOICE OF THE SANDINISTA MOVEMENT | 05\/11\/2018

The Foundation Solar project for Nicaraguan women (FUPROSOMUNIC) received the award WAFA 2018 (awards of the water, air and food), for its low-cost sustainable solutions to ensure clean air.

FUPROSOMUNIC, non-governmental organization that promotes the use of solar energy in communities in the departments of Masaya and Granada, also managed to develop interesting ideas for the environment.

According to a press release, “FUPROSOMUNIC has managed to mobilize community groups to promote healthier lifestyles: building solar cookers and food dehydration facilities, and instructing on nutrition, home self-sufficiency gardening, purification of water, care of children and other issues. Solar cookers have decreased considerably the contamination of air in homes and also deforestation”.

Other winners of the 2018 Edition of the WAFA Awards, in addition to Nicaragua (air), come from India (water), Nigeria (food) and South Africa (youngsters awards).

Council of Communication and citizenship

Tortilla on Dom, NOVEMBER 14, 2018 18:56 IST

FUPROSOMUNIC (Foundation Solar project for Nicaraguan women) obtained the WAFA 2018 Prize in the ‘Air’ category. FUPROSOMUNIC is a non-governmental organization that promotes the use of solar energy in communities in the departments of Masaya and Granada. WAFA (water, air and food, awards ) is an entity based in Denmark that encourages sustainable low-cost solutions to ensure clean water, clean air and healthy food.

According to a statement from the Agency, “FUPROSOMUNIC has managed to mobilize community groups to promote healthier lifestyles: building solar cookers and food dehydration facilities, and instructing on nutrition, domestic self-sufficiency gardening, water purification, care of children and other issues. Solar cookers have decreased considerably the contamination of air in homes and also deforestation”.

The winners of the Edition 2018 of the WAFA award, in addition to Nicaragua (air), come from India (water), Nigeria (food) and South Africa (young).

Mazhapolima recognised for its work in Kerala

Mazhapolima wins accolades for offering sustainable solution to overcome water scarcity

The community-based government programme, Mazhapolima in Thrissur district in Kerala has received the Danish Water Air Food Award 2018 for offering a sustainable solution to overcome water scarcity. The programme was initiated in 2008 with a focus on recharging groundwater wells using rainwater harvested from rooftops. The success of the scheme lies in its affordability. Mazhapolima requires the beneficiary to pay only 25 percent of the cost of constructing the well-recharge structure while the remaining funds are borne by the state government.

India Water Portal  November 2018

Water harvesting project emerges Water winner in global voting campaign

The Hindu THRISSUR , NOVEMBER 14, 2018 23:09 IST

A Mazhapolima team was presented with the Water Air Food Award (WAFA) Denmark 2018 in the water category at a function held at Thrissur Collectorate on Wednesday.

District Collector T.V. Anupama received the award from Sneha Singh, Chief Corporate Officer, WAFA.

Out of 171 applications, Mazhapolima project was voted the Water winner in the global voting campaign. The award carries a certificate of achievement, a cash award and the WAFA trophy, designed by a leading European sculptor.

The WAFA recognises and promotes sustainable solutions that ensure safe drinking water, clean air and food for all.

Mazhapolima is a rooftop rainwater harvesting method for replenishing water table.

With simple technology of capturing rainwater from the rooftops, people can ensure water security throughout the year.
Importance

“Local self-governments should be able to ensure full participation in the rainwater harvesting project. Rainwater harvesting system has become popular in schools, houses and police stations. People started acknowledging importance of rainwater harvesting in the state,” Dr. Singh said.
Addressing the function, Ms. Anupama stressed the need to create awareness of the need of preserve the water sources.

Kerala’s Thrissur district is recharging 4.5 lakh wells

Inititated in 2008 to arrest fast depletion of groundwater, the community scheme received the Danish Water Air Food Award 2018 for offering sustainable solution to overcome water scarcity

Seventy-five-year-old Asha Menon still remembers the summer of 2009 with disbelief. A resident of water-rich Thrissur district in Kerala she had found the two wells in her estate almost dry. Worried she headed to the district collector’s office. “From there began my journey to become water-sufficient,” she says, with her eyes fixed on the wells now brimming with water. Her journey has some 25,000 co-travellers in the district. Each of them has converted their rooftop into a system that can harvest rainwater and channelise the water into the wells to replenish groundwater.

“This has been made possible by a community-based government programme, Mazhapolima,” says Jos C Raphael, director of the programme. The district administration of Thrissur initiated the programme in 2008 to arrest fast depletion of groundwater in the district. It has some 0.45 million open wells that cater to 70 per cent of the drinking water needs. Under Mazhapolima, officials decided to recharge all wells using rainwater harvested from rooftops.

Kerala has been experimenting with such schemes since 2002. In 2004, the government amended its Kerala Municipality Building Rules to make rooftop water harvesting mandatory for all new government buildings. But none of the schemes have achieved the success and acceptance as Mazhapolima, claim officials. And for a reason.

In face of regular droughts caused by erratic monsoons, well recharge is more cost effective than constructing rainwater harvesting tanks with capacity limitations. Even then, a well recharging system costs about Rs 8,000 for a 1,000-1,200 sq feet house. To make the system further affordable, Mazhapolima requires the beneficiary to pay only 25 per cent of the cost. On an average, a household has to pay just Rs 5,000 for getting a well-recharge structure installed.

The remaining 75 per cent of cost is borne by the state government, which has accrued funds for the scheme from various other government programmes such as the Integrated Watershed Management Programme, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and the District Disaster Management Fund. Even the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation and private donors have contributed to the initiative.
To improve its acceptance among people, Mazhapolima is being implemented in collaboration with village panchayats who are responsible for providing information related to the scheme and facilitate its implementation. The district administration has also trained some volunteers who now go door-to-door and sensitise people about conserving rainwater. They get paid under MGNREGA.

“Before Mazhapolima units were installed in Thekkumkara village, people heavily relied on water tankers in April and May,” says A J Shaju, president of Kolazhy village panchayat. In 2016-17, the district administration spent Rs 14 lakh on providing water tankers to 300 households in the village. The scheme has now been implemented in all the 300 houses in Thekkumkara.

The right push
Such is the success of the scheme that people have now started installing well-recharging and other rainwater harvesting structures at their own cost. Still there are many who are reluctant to embrace Mazhapolima units as they find it difficult to avail the subsidy. Shaju lists a few reasons: many are receiving the money after six months. Those whose bank accounts have not been linked to Aadhaar also fail to benefit from the scheme. Besides, the system requires regular maintenance of the filter, which costs as much as Rs 2,000 per year and many families cannot afford this.

The district authorities are however relentless in promoting rainwater harvesting. In 2014, the district collector issued a notification, advising the Superintendent of Police to install Mazhapolima units in all 20 police stations of the district. They have also advised all people building new homes to install roof top water harvesting.

A better coverage would help improve water quality in the district, which is merely 2 km from the sea. There has already been evidence of saline water intrusion. A physico-chemical analysis of water samples published in 2013 showed that the water collected from recharge areas during post-monsoon and pre-monsoon seasons were less saline. In Palayoor which falls in Chavakadu Municipality in Thrissur, the water quality has significantly improved and yellow colour imparted to water due to high iron content has reduced. Jissa Pulikkottil, Mother Superior of Little Flower Convent in Mammiyoor, too says that quality of water has improved.

The report “Impact Assessment of Mazhapolima Project on Groundwater Regime in Thrissur District” published in February 2013 says about 78 per cent of respondents in the coastal and midland area reported a “significant improvement in the groundwater availability”. Though quantification of the scheme’s impact is yet to be done, its success has been evident. In October, the scheme received the Danish Water Air Food Award 2018 for offering sustainable solution to overcome water scarcity.

(This story was first published in the 1-15th November issue of Down To Earth).

Mazhapolima on Denmark award shortlist

Simple technique utilises rooftop rainwater for replenishing water table

Mazhapolima, the rooftop rainwater harvesting method for replenishing water table, has reached the final of the Denmark-based Water, Air, Food Award (WAFA), July 2018, Hindu Times.

The simple and economical technique, which recharges aquifers, is among the 10 entries shortlisted from 161. WAFA recognises and promotes sustainable solutions that ensure safe drinking water, clean air and food for all.

The winner will be selected though online voting. One has to open website wafaward.org/polling/ for voting. Register with WAFA Awards and login with your e-mail account for voting.

One vote can be registered from one ID. July 31 is the last date for voting, according to Jos Raphael, secretary, Mazhapolima.

Promoted by the Thrissur district administration and local self government institutions, Mazhapolima ensures that no monsoon shower will get wasted.

With a simple technology of capturing rainwater from the roof and directing it to the well through a simple filter, you can ensure water security across the year.

“This not only ensures water security, but also improves quality. Households whose wells go dry in summer and which have hard water with high iron, copper and salt content can use this method,” Mr. Raphael said.

Bringing Green Heroes to Light in Malaysia

Gandhi (second from left) and Asian Professional Security Association (APSA) president Datuk Seri Mustapa Ali (third from left) with presenters Zuethen (left), Lindgreen (fourth from left) and Sundstrup (centre, back row) and other representatives from WAFA, APSA and UBM.

The “Star” Malaysia’s leading English-language newspaper has recently featured WAFA’s conference with UBM and business leaders.

“Bringing Green Heroes to Light” article highlights the world’s dramatic unsustainable circumstances we all face and, the positive steps that WAFA and UBM are taking to address the situation.

UBM Asia Asean Business Managing Director M. Gandhi says UBM is “Delighted to support efforts that can make the world a better place. As one of the largest exhibition organisers in Asia, we want to share solutions with businesses, companies and leading players for the betterment of society. Some of our preferred subjects are in line with WAFA’s theme and various conferences, making this particular initiative even more relevant.”

By supporting WAFA, UBM hopes to bring the real silent heroes to light, promote their projects to stakeholders, and ultimately encourage various partners to come together, support and replicate their efforts. “Understanding the effects of what we’re doing and avoiding potential disasters is key to coming up with solutions that are sustainable for the future of mankind.

“Why wait until disaster strikes when we can do something about it now? We should not take what is abundantly available to us now – for granted,” Gandhi says.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

Read the article here!

Walking the Walk! Going beyond Corporate Image

 
Tengku Amir (third from right) receiving a certificate of patronship from Lindgreen at the high-tea event, accompanied (from left) by WAFA Malaysia advisor CK Surendran, Mohd Azumi, WAFA Malaysia advisor Datin Paduka Dr Santah Kumari, and WAFA Malaysia advisor Siva Anamaly.

Malaysian business leaders explored global sustainability partnerships with WAFA and its outstanding pioneers over high tea at Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur!  The multi-facetted soiree, “CSR Beyond Corporate Image”, was hosted by United Business Media (UBM) Malaysia and Water Air Food Awards (WAFA). In this relaxed setting, the leaders learned about WAFA, its awardees’ breakthrough initiatives around the globe, and very importantly, the exceptional business opportunity to “do well by doing good”.

UBM Malaysia co-chairman Gen (Rtd) Tan Sri Mohd Azumi Mohamed stressed the shared responsibility for environmental sustainability among government, business, and and organizations like like WAFA and the Asiawater Responsible Business Alliance (AWRBA). “Many businesses are partners in sustainable programmes, eradication of poverty, and promotion of better living” he said. “UBM Malaysia also seeks to play a CSR role in areas of innovation, sustainable and community-based solutions. This is what ‘serve to lead’ is all about. Through its alliance group initiative of AWRBA, UBM Malaysia aims to bring together leading charities from the region with the mission of bringing clean, safe drinking water and sanitation to the underprivileged.”

The event included a dialogue with academics and two WAFA winners whose initiatives have transformed their communities: the Permaculture Research Institute –  represented by Co-director Rhamis Kent – and the Kamalnayan Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation – represented by Chairman Shishir Bajaj.

At the occasion, WAFA had the honour of welcoming its latest patron, His Highness the Raja Muda of Selangor Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah. In accepting the position, His Highness stated, “We are facing various challenges in creating a sustainable global food production and access to clean water and air. WAFA has become a gateway to extensive knowledge of global conditions in developing countries and can assist corporations in identifying concrete projects and solutions which can be a breeding ground for partnerships.” HH is keen to see Malaysian projects apply for the WAFA awards and encourages corporations to collaborate with them.

A raffle, featuring paintings by well-known artists, raised funds to support the upcoming documentary series about WAFA’s “silent heroes”. Guests had the pleasure of viewing the first episode. WAFA Founder and President Tina Lindgreen noted it had been produced on a shoestring budget: “It all depends on the funds. We have to raise more funds to be able to produce more documentaries and hopefully, the videos will go viral. This will encourage the global public to come together and replicate the effort.”

Read the original article here.