OurHealth Water & Sanitation

Limpopo youth pitch water-saving cell phones to world

Written by Ndivhuwo Musetha

Imagine if you could save litres of water with the touch of a button. Limpopo learners have and recently presented the innovative idea to the world at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize.

The learners' idea would switch dam pumps on and off via cell phones (File photo)

The learners’ idea would switch dam pumps on and off via cell phones (File photo)

Camilla Mashele, Hlengi Makhumbila and Edgar Nukeri came up with an innovative model to save water using two cell phones – one for switching on the pump to fill a dam while the other phone could be used for switching off the pump.

According to Limpopo Department of Education Communications Manager Dr Naledzani Rasila, design was among the most reliable ones presented because it “does not rely on an individual to go and switch on and off the pumps manually as it is the case now”.

The trio hails from Matlhari Secondary School, a “no fee” school about 25 kms outside of Tzaneen and previously won the South African Annual Junior Water Prize Competition with the idea. Their national win garnered them each a laptop and bursary for an engineering course.

While the team did not win the international competition, judges encouraged the youth to make some adjustments to the design and re-submit the entry next year.

Limpopo Education MEC Ishmael Kgetjepe told OurHealth that the students’ win “goes a long way to dispel a myth that schools from previously disadvantaged communities cannot show their competitive edge when opportunities to do so present themselves”.

Lepelle Northern Water and the Limpopo Department of Water and Sanitation sponsored the students’ trip.

About the author

Ndivhuwo Musetha

Ndivhuwo Musetha served an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from Limpopo's Vhembe Health District from 2012 to 2015.