The Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber will soon be launching an Adopt a School initiative with the help of its member companies to repair damaged or faulty infrastructure at some of the Metro’s schools that have been identified as high water consumers.

Over 30 schools across Nelson Mandela Bay have been flagged as high water consumers due to leaking water pipes and faulty plumbing systems which need urgent repairing. To this end, the Business Chamber is in the process of roping in member companies to adopt schools near their precincts as a response to the city’s clarion call for water preservation.

This will be done in partnership with the municipality and the Department of Education to conduct a needs analysis to establish where member companies can prioritise their assistance. But more importantly, this will also present an opportunity to drive an awareness campaign to educate learners about the importance of water preservation.

With the city’s combined dam levels currently below 12%, this reflects an agonising picture of a city teetering on the brink of reaching acute water shortages. The municipality has predicted that the Metro will not have sufficient water in the next two or three months. This places a huge responsibility on both businesses and residents to make major adjustments in their daily consumption patterns. The industry must save 20% of their daily consumption while residents must use 50 litres per person. 

Though the industry is extending its help to the municipality and the Department of Education, however, as primary stakeholders, the two institutions will be expected to play a more meaningful role in the sustenance of this programme.  

Part of our mandate as the Business Chamber is to continue advocating for infrastructure development as most of the city’s potable water is lost through water leaks due to aging infrastructure and lack of maintenance thereof. We need more commitment from the municipality in implementing remedial actions to address the Bay’s water challenges.

With no major rains predicted any time soon to break the incessant drought, the severity of our dam levels demands all hands on deck to ensure every drop is preserved.