Civil engineering students responding to the water crisis
11 Oct 2017 - 11:00
Nkosinathi Nokomo and Sesethu Mazangazanga
Nkosinathi Nkomo, a third-year civil engineering was unable to register in 2017 due to lack of funds. To raise funds, he decided to apply some of the knowledge he had acquired practically by being part of the solution to the water crisis in Cape Town. He saw an opportunity in developing a greywater system which could be used in South African homes and places of business. He formed a company, AquaRenu, which aims to reduce the amount of water people use at home and work.
Nkosinathi called in friends to assist, and there is now a team of four. Sesethu Mazangazanga, a fourth-year civil engineering student, is the project manager, Njabule Gule, who is working and studying business part-time, is responsible for operations, and Monicca Masetola, a final-year student at Vega, does branding and marketing. Nkomo said, “I work with a team that is passionate to be part of the solution and is always willing to give a hand to provide South Africa with new solutions to the water issue.”
AquaRenu’s vision is to become a nationally recognised brand and to have their products a standard feature in typical South African homes. “We want to make the greywater and rainwater harvesting systems affordable for the average South African household while delivering a service that is comparable to other expensive manufactures,” Nkomo said.
Sesethu added, “The area we currently specialise in is greywater irrigation, and part of our near future design is harvesting rainwater to reduce water consumption in homes and businesses even further.”
They are currently working on an exciting design that utilises rainwater and greywater as primary sources of water for irrigation and toilet flushing for large properties such as schools and complexes. This design, coupled with their old greywater unit would reduce consumption by up to 80 percent per month.
AquaRenu is currently working with contractors in Mpumalanga and installing their greywater units in some of the local schools in the area. To date, their clients have been homeowners in Cape Town and Johannesburg.
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