Hennops River Restoration and Clean Up Campaign - Day 7

Hennops River Restoration Campaign Day 7 by Willem Snyman fresh.ngo


The volunteers worked with enthusiasm even though we had no equipment

‘Our cleanup continued on the fountain-stream flowing through the Duduza informal settlement. The volunteers worked with enthusiasm even though we had no equipment. The bags, masks and gloves the waste department promised to bring when meeting at their offices the previous day never arrived. With bare hands we confronted the rubbish and extended the cleaned area substantially on both sides. The most prolific waste being bags full of Pampers, hundreds of  thousands in the stream, all taking a thousand years to decay. They should be banned and made from bio-degradable materials. The water is luckily still fairly clear being so close to source. There were numerous earth-worms on the banks and a lone frog in the rubbish. We still await the truck to pick up the trash removed. No rubbish pickup has ever been here for a community of ten thousand who all use the stream for waste disposal. This is a shameful state and we will pressurise Ekurhuleni for skips and regular pickups for this community. Afterwards everyone washed with and drank Effective-Microbacteria to disinfect and prevent diseases. The fruit and vegetables were divided and distributed in an equal and orderly way. Here is a group of able and willing workers who should be permanently employed to keep this area clean and restore the banks with indigenous wetland vegetation to become a source of pride to the community. Later a further four large sewerage leaks and blockages were found and reported. We also encountered the bravest team from Jhb Water unblocking some of the sewers reported earlier. One worker, knee deep in the muck was passing buckets up. These are the front line heroes keeping our people and rivers safe. He said the people are uneducated and flush down everything - sanitary pads, condoms and  Pampers being the worst problems. The one spring stream previously grey, was already running crystal clear. We visited the new informal houses extending dangerously close and right up to the banks of the Kaalspruit, all with no services and some with self laid sewerage pipes going straight to the river. A huge stream of sewage from a blocked pipe running through illegally dumped rubble adds to the problems that should be confronted by municipalities soon. Tomorrow we enter Tshwane for the last leg of the campaign, to help clean two more hotspots. It looks like there will be a great show of solidarity there with numerous volunteers caring about the plight of the informal waste recyclers and the health of the Hennops River - its ancient heart uniting all of these diverse communities and bringing life to our natural areas.’

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Hennops River

South Africa

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