by Katherine Fillmore
Today started fresh.ngo’s phenomenal 100 km hike along the Hennops River. Willem Snyman fresh.ngo and Anton Bailey from Blue Swirl Recycling www.bluswirl.co.za will hike and paddle along the river course for the next 5 days camping over night. This pioneering journey will be a march against sewage and plastic pollution to create awareness and inspire solutions to the pollution of our rivers. It it will also serve as a fact finding mission. Anton Bailey is working on raising funds for a state of the art machine that will turn plastic into fuel. Click http://www.thundafund.com/project/saveourrivers to find out more. Hennops Blue Horizon picked up Karla and Marlo Jooste and Anton from the Red Barn, where they planned to hike to along the river today, and took them through to Kaalfontein in Tembisa. We were met by Willem and Kyle Odgers from KleenUP. It was fabulous to see how much waste the team had cleared up the day before. The eco-brick chairs designed by Khuthaza Foundation, and encircled by newly planted trees, where already being utilized and enjoyed by the locals. We hiked around the Kaalfontein Wetland; a beautiful and rare nature area under severe threat by illegal development and dumping. Corrupt officials are selling land on the wetland and housing is cutting deep into this pristine and essential wetland. People are unaware of the harmful effects of building on a wetland and the dangers of flooding. When Willem stopped to chat to a resident they learnt quickly what risks were involved. Education is key in this area to save this pristine source of nature that is so essential and valuable. A heron residing close by seemed to call for support. The Department of Environmental Affairs’ support would go a long way in dealing with this huge problem to protect this water source and wetland. We also need to be persistent in our drive to corporates to stop producing single use plastic packaging. Willem fished out a Woolworths packet from a relatively clean water stream that it read ‘please recycle me’. Clearly these packets are not getting recycled. We passed a matric student sitting under a tree studying on the banks of the wetland and he shared our sentiment that this wetland needs to be protected for the well-being of nature and people and for the future of this planet.
Really looking forward to the news on their remarkable journey that will reveal so much about our Beloved Hennops River and shed a lot of light on its healing.
Follow their trip on @Bluswirl.recycling on Facebook and #hikethehennops on Instagram.