Deputy Minister Rejoice Mabudafhasi launched the Fognet Project in Venda, Limpopo

25 August 2010

Today, the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Mme Rejoice Mabudafhasi launched the Fognet Project at the Mphephu Holiday Resort in Venda, Limpopo Province.

The South African Weather Service (SAWS) is the National Meteorology Authority operating as a government entity under the Ministry of Water and Environmental Affairs and also a member of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). SAWS derives its mandate from the South African Weather Service Act, Act No. 8 of 2001, providing meteorological products and services for both public good use and commercial purpose enhancing South Africa’s ability to safeguard of lives, livelihood and property of South Africans and beyond our borders.

This year marks 150 years of organised meteorology in South Africa and provision of meteorology services to South Africans and beyond our borders. SAWS have climate data dating as far back as 1860, there have been major milestones and achievements realised over these years. In recognising and celebrating the 150 years of Service to South Africans, SAWS identified programmes and projects that have over the years impacted on lives and livelihood of South Africans in different ways, several activities and events have been implemented to increase awareness and raise the profile of meteorology.

Speaking at the launch Mabudafhasi said, “One of the projects identified is a Fognet, being implemented in Limpopo Province, whereby Fognets are erected in areas with fog to harvest water that is used by communities and schools. The project is implemented in Tshanowa Primary School in Vondo Village and Tshiavha Primary School in Tshiavha village in the Thulamela Municipality. These Fognets have over the years been providing water to local communities therefore impacting positively in addressing issues of food security and livelihoods,” Mabudafhasi went on to say that Fognet is a crucial project for the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs as it bridges the gaps between science and day to day living. The University of Pretoria in partnership with SAWS are transferring skills to community members to maintain the Fognets. The project has demonstrated that it is environmental friendly and would benefit most of South Africans.

SAWS and the University of Pretoria used the launch to demonstrate to stakeholders and other parties the importance of FOGNETS and how they can be expanded to cab the water needs. Limpopo is one of the provinces that are largely rural and with high prevalence of drought; such project have the potential to assist government in addressing the issues related to water scarcity and drought, said Mabudafhasi.

Enquiries:
South African Weather Service:
Modjadji Makoela:
Tel: 012 367 6055
E-mail: modjadji.makoela@weathersa.co.za

Ministry of Water and Environmental Affairs:
Peter Mbelengwa
Cell: 082 611 8197
E-mail: mbelengwap@dwa.gov.za

University of Pretoria
Professor Hannes Rautenbach (Technical)
Tel: 012 420-2173
Cell: 0824806579
E-mail: hannes.rautenbach@up.ac.za