Second- and third-year Agriculture students from the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences (DANRS), gained practical experience through a partnership with Augustineum Secondary School. The students and learners grew food using rainwater harvested from the school grounds.
Previously, the rainwater would flow from the school grounds into a gully which led into a tributary of the Arebusch River. “An earth wall was therefore built in the gully to divert flowing rainwater into a ditch that is leveled out on a contour ditch. The water from rain showers is captured in the ditch where it soaks into the ground to irrigate crops. If the ditch gets full of water from heavy rain showers, then the excess supply spills widely to irrigate land on which crops can be grown in the rainy season,” said Dr Ibo Zimmermann, the Deputy Director of the Department.
Vegetables were planted below a contour ditch and around a compost-pit to receive the water.
Water conservation is increasingly being encouraged in crucial sectors of the economy, such as the agriculture sector, and depending on the quantity, significant economic, social and environmental benefits can be achieved by using rainwater.