The Bambanani Wetland Spirit Day - to reconnect with the freshwater system of the Kaalfontein - day three of the Hennops River restoration project by Willem Snyman
‘The stream looked remarkably clean this morning, washed out by the rain, and for the first time in a decade, it looked like a river again, with the bad stench gone and the visibility improving, relieved of its unnecessary burden of sewerage.
We started with a shamanic ritual to heal the good snake spirit dwelling in the river. The Shaman gave it some Effective Micro-organism (EM) medicine. A group yoga session with teacher Aumji and a large group of enthusiastic neighbourhood children was next. They had an unforgettable day on the river bank enjoying their natural playground on one of the last few patches of grass left. The need for a large park for everyone could be clearly seen - to take the children off the streets in this dense community with the wetland being the only green tranquil area left. The river was blessed and the children told about looking after their environment and how this top wetland-fountain-source fits into the greater Hennops River system and how all the animals inhabiting it are harmed by upriver pollution.
A ceremony of prayer and releasing a symbolic healing stick to cleanse the water as it floats down the river was held by Lewende Woord Church. They then served a lovely lunch for everyone, all were well fed with the children playing happily together on the Kaalfontein banks, giving one hope for the healing of our nation and our environment.
A breath of fresh air for all - how unnecessary the pollution and degredation of our world felt - a chaos caused by ignorance and greed, harming the health and well-being of everyone. Making a wasteland of this natural life-giving paradise that belogs to us all and crucial to the health of the river - a shared world with all the animals. This potentially idyllic setting with its strong perennial fountain stream and large wetland will benefit everyone when cleaned and restored to life as a natural people's park, not claimed and destroyed by a few illegal shack dwellers. These dwellers should be given proper accommodation. Living inside the river course and high-water line is dangerous and unhealthy.
Everyone left inspired and filled with hope, the kids all asking when it will happen again, like the Micro-organisms this consciousness will grow and spread.
Later driving around in Ivory Park, four more sewerage leaks were found and reported, all running down the streets as health hazards, two each in Jhb and Ekurhuleni areas.
Tomorrow we hope for a response by the authorities on the wetland-grab and will keep on working on the Kaalfontein. We will also be shifting to the parrell and neighbouring Freedom Wetland, a smaller one which will be explored in the morning to find and report sewerage leaks, while spreading the word for a community cleanup planned for the afternoon. Thanks to all who participated and have been encouraging and expressing support for the project. fresh.ngo’