Dipuo Nthane, Tebogo Mamabolo and Nthabiseng Motona from Taxila Secondary School in Polokwane, Limpopo, proudly represented South Africa as the only African participants at the 2014 Stockholm Junior Water Prize award ceremony in Sweden last night.

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize (part of the official Stockholm Water Prize) is a competition where learners from around the world aged between the ages of 15 and 20 showcase their unique solutions to water-related challenges.

Regional competitions are held in each participating country to determine the international representatives. The learners were part of the group of 62 learners from 29 countries chosen to take part in the competition.

Motona and Nthane, who are currently in grade 11, and Mamabolo, currently in grade 10, built a Nano-enabled RainMaker Humidification System (RHS) designed to purify and remove microbial and chemical contamination from roof-harvested rain water to make it suitable for drinking. 

The RHS is said to have the capability to improve the quality of life in rural and urban South Africa, as well as globally.

Although the US$15 000 (around R150 000) grand prize went to Hayley Todesco from Canada, the Taxila Secondary learners walked away with full bursaries to study any water-related courses at any institution of higher learning in South Africa.

“We are proud of ourselves and having come so far,” said Nthane. “Just being invited to Sweden was an experience of a lifetime”.

[Source – South African Government News Agency, Image – Stockholm International Water Institute]