Star College pupils Calden Gounden and Kiaran Chetty are flying high after they won a national youth water competition and will be going to Sweden to compete in an international competition. Zanele Zulu African News Agency (ANA)
DURBAN - Two pupils from Star College in Westville will be flying the South African flag high in Sweden after they won the 20th National South African Youth Water Prize Competition (SAYWP) last week.

Kiaran Chetty, 16, and Calden Gounden, 16, will represent South Africa in Stockholm at the Annual Stockholm Junior Youth Water Prize at the end of August.

The two won the national competition, which took place in Gauteng and saw pupils from all over the country competing to impress the judges on innovations relating to water and sanitation.

SAYWP, which is co-ordinated by the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), is a science and technology-based project.

The pupil’s project, the Hydro- Conservation, intends to reduce the quantity of water that is wasted in households across South Africa daily during showering and hand-washing.

Calden, who wants to become a mechanical engineer, said the need to save water motivated them to start their project.

“While I was brushing my teeth, I realised that we waste so much water using taps. And Kiaran also was getting irritated while waiting for hot water in the shower. We both then came the next day to our teacher, who helped us to combine our ideas and in making the project,” said Calden.

He said that they had worked on the project from November last year until April.

“I’m ecstatic about winning and I can’t wait to represent my country overseas. I also believe that more ­people really need to start saving water because it is a very scarce resource and it is an essential need,” he said.

Kiaran, who wants to be either a civil or mechanical engineer, is hopeful that their project will claim the gold medal in the international competition.

“I’m excited about winning the competition. It was not easy because the other provinces had some really good projects,” he said.

The pair will also be flying to the US this year, where they will represent South Africa at the 2019 Genius Olympiad.

Rex Mtileni, the DWS chief director for Water Services and Local Water Management, said the competition was aimed at encouraging young people to pursue careers in the water and sanitation sector.

“To date, about 342 schools have participated in the competition. As a result, we now have 42 graduates who are contributing to developing our country and 29 other young people are in tertiary institutions across the country where they are pursuing careers in the water and sanitation sector,” said Mtileni.