Heinz Park Primary receives gift of water

Heinz Park Primary School parent, Deeba Petersen, who is also a school governing body member, and acting principal, Nombulelo Msesiwe.

Heinz Park Primary School is grateful for the delivery of 2 700 litres of water from Gift of the Givers, after brown water started flowing from their taps.

Acting principal, Nombulelo Msesiwe, said close to 40% of their 1 300 pupils had complained about stomach ailments and about six teachers had called in sick in the same week.

Ms Msesiwe said each classroom will be given a 5l bottle of water for drinking and which will be replenished.

Deeba Petersen, a parent and member of the school governing body, said most of the pupils relied on the school for something to drink and a plate of food.

“Thankfully now they have access to clean, drinkable water.

“At home I boil the water before I drink it,” she said.

Ms Petersen said coping with the water restrictions has taken some getting use to.

“Usually you could just open the tap but now you need to be aware not to waste water,” she said.

The no-fee school, which also runs a feeding scheme, contacted the relief organisation on Friday March 23 about the possible installation of a borehole.

Badr Kazi, head of corporate and government for Gift of the Givers, said it was essential to get drinking water to the school.

The organisation’s hydrologist, geologist and paleontologist, Dr Gideon Groenewald, is due to assess whether a borehole will be viable.

The plan is to possibly divert that water into a wetland system, which will be a long-term project.

He said the community could also cultivate a vegetable patch, which could feed most of the pupils and their families.

Mr Kazi said he hoped the borehole project would inspire pupils to explore different professions and study avenues, whether it is biology, geography, hydrology, geology or palaeontology.

“We want to show the pupils the many means and opportunities available for them to develop physically and mentally,” he said.

The foundation had been directed by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) to help the school access borehole water and secure its water supply so that it would be less dependent on the City of Cape Town’s municipal supply.

The City is investigating the school’s complaint regarding water quality.