World Water Day: Water and Jobs

The African water sector needs qualified staff in all disciplines, not just engineering.

World Water Day is an international observance and an opportunity initiated by the United Nations since 1993 to highlight water-related issues and inspire decisions and actions to make a difference.

The topic of 2016 – water and jobs – focuses on how jobs related to the provision of adequate water services, can change people`s lives and transform societies and economies. Obviously, almost all the jobs of humanity are conditioned by water in addition to those directly related to the supply of water. Unfortunately, the problems associated with employment in the water sector in African developing countries are often poorly known and therefore not sufficiently supported by public authorities.

In rural areas, community organisations or small private operators often employ water suppliers and service providers. These are limited in number compared to the needs and seriously lack the professional skills and abilities required to provide quality services.

In municipalities, local authorities lack qualified technical personnel for the planning, monitoring, coordination and other functions related to their responsibilities. Even government agencies are desperately short of qualified staff, both at regionally and nationally level.

Often we think that the only jobs in the water sector are for engineers and technicians whose work focuses on boreholes, pumps, dams, etc. But in reality, the sector needs specialised professionals from many other disciplines to address water-related problems. These disciplines include management sciences, statistics, legal sciences, political sciences, economics, finance, communication, geography, sociology, etc. All these disciplines are essential, as well as engineering to promote efficient and sustainable water services. But they remain unfortunately less acknowledged and therefore not solicited and undervalued.

Without skilled professionals in national and regional governments, public and private companies, municipalities, NGOs and community organisations, developing countries will be unable to provide sustainable access to water services for everyone. We shouldn`t forget that human rights to water and sanitation as established by the United Nations, are essential for the full realisation of the right to life and all other human rights.

Professionalisation of the water sector and increasing the number of jobs not only supports the right to water but also youth employment and the national economy.

National authorities, country leaders, development partners, sponsors of professional training and jobs, need to act now!

Make your pledge for Earth Hour 2016

What is Earth Hour?

It’s the united call to action for people around the world to take positive steps for the planet. The seeds were first planted in Sydney, Australia in 2007 as a symbolic event focused on switching off the lights for one hour to raise awareness about climate change. It has since grown into a booming global movement that has mobilised hundreds of thousands to use their collective voice during Earth Hour to inspire, motivate and lead the charge on their hopes, dreams and concerns about the planet.
On home soil, South Africans got switched on to the power of Earth Hour in 2009 ahead of climate change talks in Copenhagen, Denmark. This momentum led WWF South Africa to inspire many more South Africans to sign up and switch off.

Each year Earth Hour mobilises more support for the planet, exceeding expectations and inspiring change on various environmental concerns. Last year this included fighting deforestation in Uganda, a 10-year freeze on a new oil project in the Arctic, the creation of a national park in Malaysia, a reduction in energy usage in Brunei Darussalam and stronger climate change laws in Scotland and Switzerland and, in South Africa, the creation of a legion of individuals, corporates and municipalities willing to switch off for Earth Hour and go beyond it by making real and lasting changes for the environment.

Earth Hour Inspires Change

Do you want to be part of the change? Please visit and make your pledge! Share your pledge with us on facebook –

DWS National Events for Water Week

The Department of Water Affairs are holding the following events across the country for National Water Week 2016!

~11-17 March 2016~ Water Conservation and Awareness Campaign – DWS in conjunction with the City of Ekurhuleni, Rand Water, ERWAT and the Department of Health is running the campaign targeting Grade 10 learners from 10 schools in the City of Ekurhuleni. The learners will be given topics on water conservation to research and present to a panel of judges. Contact Lucky Makgarengi at for more information.

~16-26 March 2016 ~ eThekwini Metro Water Month Activities – DWS focusses on the northern schools that are affected by water challenges-drought. Contact Mbali Mahaye on
012 336 2929 or for more information.

~12-18 March 2016 ~ National Water Week Mpumalanga Province – DWS in conjunction with IUCMA, DOE and Rand Water will be hosting various campaigns in Mpumalanga. These include science school project competitions, water conservation awareness campaigns and a Correctional Services water conservation awareness campaign. Contact Themba Khoza at for more information.

~22 March 2016~ Water Week Celebrations – DWS will be hosting this event in the North West Province to raise awareness on pollution, prudent water usage and water stewardship. Contact Ms Katlego Mokaila on 018 3879532 or for more information.

~18 March 2016~ National Water Week Northern Cape Provincial Event – DWS official handover of the Kathu Bulk Water Supply to Gamagara Municipality and community. Contact Amogelang Moholoeng at for details on this event.

~22 March 2016~ World Water Day – DWS partners with Sedibeng Water in organising an education tour for learners at the Vaal Gamagara Water Treatment Works. Contact Amogelang Moholoeng at or Andile Flatela

WISA Member Dave Crombie Highlights the many Job Opportunities in the Water Industry

Mr Dave Crombie will be interviewed on the Afternoon Express today, 15 March 2016 to celebrate Water Week by making learners and young adults aware of the exciting, and worthwhile careers in the water industry.

The discussions will include some of the following:

  • What is Water Week
  • The water cycle
  • Need for skilled people to manage this precious resource
  • Type of skills – practical hands on, engineering, scientific, agricultural, industrial, resource management, etc
  • Qualifications – subjects as school, technical and university, ongoing development of skills through career
  • Social and economic upliftment through career in water.