Greenside learner’s innovation scoops first prize at provincial competition

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

A Grade 10 learner from Greenside High School in Johannesburg has earned the top spot in the provincial leg of the National South African Youth Water Prize (SAYWP) competition with his innovative approach to water resource management.

The 15-year-old, Yaseen Akhalwaya, was crowned the Gauteng provincial winner for his "Project Weatherman/HydroLogic" project idea.

Yaseen said he found the comments from the adjudicators insightful and he took notes on areas that require improvement, as he aims to secure the number one spot at the national level of the competition. 

“I am more than grateful to the department for the chance. The comments from the adjudicators provide valuable feedback and I took notes to help refine my work and increase my chances of securing the number one spot at the national level of the competition,” Yaseen said.

Yaseen’s brilliant water and sanitation innovation idea won him a prize of R6000, a first-place trophy, and a bursary.

The second place went to Good Hope Secondary School with an awareness project. The school walked away with a prize of R5 000 and a second place trophy. 

The Greenside Secondary School also scooped third place with an awareness project and won a prize of R4 000.

Fourteen schools from Gauteng took part in this year’s SAYWP competition under the various categories, including awareness, invention and innovation. 

Department coordinator: Water Support Service, Reshoketswe Malepe, expressed her gratitude for the support the programme has received over the years from the adjudicators, including teachers and schools, stakeholders, and the media, among others.

“Active youth involvement in the water and sanitation sector is the only way to overcome the sector's plethora of difficulties,” Malepe said.

The competition is a vital component of Water and Sanitation Education Programme, which aims to educate learners and society on water resource management issues, including water use efficiency, water quality monitoring, protection of water resources, public health and hygiene awareness, and identification of invasive species. –