Wilderness Safaris Botswana launched the company’s first ‘city’ Eco Club in Old Naledi Gaborone recently, with Tshwaragano primary school chosen as first beneficiary.
The school has also become eligible for the eco-tourism campaign as it already had an eco-club that was adopted by the tourism industry giant.
At a launch session held at the school to acquaint the club members, who are strategically chosen in pairs from each class in every level (standard one to seven) with the sponsor and presenting a brief update Club, Wilderness Safari’s Business Unit Manager, Fern Brasem, said the club envisions teaching young learners the importance of environmental conservation and groom them to be responsible for their environment.
“Today’s lesson is on water and its conservation,” she said in an interview. Brasem also said the learners are encouraged to share with their school mates all the information they receive at the club. This, she said, would ensure that the club benefits not just the club members but the whole school and the Old Naledi community at large.
Brasem said the children at Tshwaragano Primary School were fortunate to be the first beneficiaries of the initiative in the city. “I will come for some of the lessons and will not be leading any of them as I believe the five teachers in charge of the program have been capacitated with the skills and information to ensure the program runs smoothly,” she noted.
Brasem also said the opportunities are boundless for both the learners and their teachers as they will in future be taken to Wilderness Safaris camps on educational excursions.
Present at the launch was Wilderness Safaris CEO, Keith Vincent, who was visibly proud of the progress he was seeing with the club.
“We will be donating a water tank to the school,” he announced, stating that the tank will help the school’s reserves for when there is water distribution interruptions at the school.
During the event, the learners brought about important water harvesting and conservation tips such as re-using grey water for irrigation and reporting and fixing all leakages once identified. In its efforts to sensitize the learners in the school about water conservation, the club members built a generic prototype of a hand washing contraption they call the ‘Tippy Tap’.
The invention comprises of two five liter buckets balanced on a rod over a pit. The two bottles have strings attached to each one of the bottles which when pulled tip the bottles to spill water, under which a learner can wash their hands. “This contraption can wash up to 15 little hands and is therefore conservative of water and a great practical lesson on water conservation,” stated the teacher, who explained that the lessons differ all the time and are all centred on issues of eco-tourism.
After completing the Eco-Club programe, the students will be ready to elevate and move into Children in the Wilderness’ (CITW) Youth Environmental Stewardship (YES) initiative for young adults who have graduated from the Eco-Clubs.