Water-wise twins jetting to Sweden, flying SA flag high

The Nhlozi twins will be flying the SA flag in Sweden at this year’s Stockholm Junior Water Prize set to place in August. Picture: Supplied

The Nhlozi twins will be flying the SA flag in Sweden at this year’s Stockholm Junior Water Prize set to place in August. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 15, 2024


Fifteen-year-old KwaZulu-Natal twins Sanelisiwe and Sandisiwe Nhlozi will be jetting to Sweden for the 2024 Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition in August.

The duo won this year’s South African Youth Water Prize competition at Xylem Water Solutions offices in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

The twins, representing Buhlebemfundo Secondary School, presented their innovative water awareness “Drop-Drop” project, which earned them the first-place trophy, a combined R25 000 allowance, tickets to Sweden, laptops and bursaries to any university of their choice.

The SA Youth Water Prize competition boasts a successful partnership between the Department of Water and Sanitation Education programme, Xylem Water Solutions, Water Technology, the Water Research Commission and other key stakeholders in the water sector.

The competition aims to educate learners about water-resource management issues, water-use efficiency and quality monitoring, protection of water resources, public health and hygiene awareness and identification of invasive species.

The competition identified a project that would best represent South Africa in Sweden.

The water and sanitation enthusiasts spoke in unison, expressing their gratitude and excitement for the opportunity to represent the country on the global stage.

“We feel super excited. We are so emotional right now. We are so grateful to the teachers, mentors and everybody who supported us this far, and our family," said the Nhlozi twins.

Pumla Ncumshe, from the water and sanitation department, congratulated the winners and emphasised the importance of the competition.

“As we look towards the Stockholm Junior Water Prize in August, we can't help but feel inspired by the dedication and creativity displayed by these young individuals.

“Their projects serve as a reminder of the importance of water conservation and the role that young people can play in shaping a sustainable future for all. Congratulations to all the participants, and best of luck to Sanelisiwe and Sandisiwe as they represent South Africa on the international stage,” said Ncumshe.

The stakes were high, proving learners are making strides by playing a role in water conservation and sanitation.

Kimberly Technical School secured second place. The school’s impactful awareness project garnered it R14 000, a bursary, laptops and a trophy.

Middleburg Muslim Secondary School in Mpumalanga also made a strong showing, earning third place for its outstanding awareness project plus R12 500, a laptop and a bursary.

It was not just the winners who walked away with prizes – learners from all nine provinces who took part in the national finals received bursaries and laptops to support their academic pursuits.

The Nhlozi twins pledged to elevate South Africa to new heights and secure the top spot on the global stage in August.

Saturday Star