By Willem Snyman fresh.ngo
Thursday 6 June: Day 2 of FRESH.ngo’s Kaalfontein Campaign
“The Kaalfontein Wetland Parkis taking shape - an adventurous day!” says Willem Snyman of FRESH. “Today I met with a Department of Water and Sanitation, (DWS) representative and showed her around the Wetlands and its problems. She was shocked.
“DWS wants to partner with us in our next clean-up and we'll collaborate on a follow-up project in Kaalfontein during July. It is great to finally get direct participation from DWS - a big step forward. We will also be partnering with Miss Earth in future clean- ups, as well as with Lucky of Stax Belts, whom I met today.
“Cllr Otto organised some enthusiastic volunteers who chopped down some bad alien plants and a team from City Parks helped to cut parts of the grass and weeds on the sides of the stream. Everything is looking much more open and excitement is growing for the Park - one little girl was jumping up and down with delight! I managed to fix a badly leaking toilet here.
Illegal dumping continues
“The down side was some people dumping rubble illegally into the wetland in front of their houses to erect more shacks. I was rudely chased away by this same group building houses a bit lower down on rubble dumped right into the water.
“Most people, however, are very friendly and understanding of the plight of their wetland environment - one of our most threatened eco-systems. Kaalfontein is a great place and this iconic though highly troubled natural area gives it a calm atmosphere in the midst of the bustle.
“I reported two serious sewerage leaks - one which has been running into the stream for over a month, with people making a canal and then a bridge over that so that illegal dumping trucks can pass over. The second was an illegal connection which has been bringing raw sewerage into the area we're cleaning – creating a large, rotten black area. The owner promised to send plumbers tomorrow and I'll work with them to help sort it out. Hopefully we can make more headway this weekend, come join us.”