River activists block garbage with net to save Hennops river

AUTHOR Bennitt Bartl, Rekord Centurion - 21 October 2019

A group of Centurion activists installed a litter trap on a tributary to the Hennops river this week.

A group of Centurion activists installed a litter trap on a tributary to the Hennops river this week.

The “plastic trap” is a 50m x 10m net suspended from a bridge near Tembisa township.

It took three days to install after work started on Tuesday.

“We suspended the trap inside the Kaalspruit to catch the huge amounts of plastic coming from further upstream,” said Fresh.ngo director Willem Snyman.

“We believe as much as 70% of the litter that enters the Hennops river and moves downstream into Centurion comes from this stream.”

READ MORE: Hundreds of refuse bags filled in Hennops river clean-up

Snyman has been part of efforts to get a litter trap installed in the area for four years.

“The bridge, which is poorly constructed, channels water in such a way that the banks are becoming extremely eroded,” he said.

“This erosion is contributing very negatively to the river and causing a lot of the issues we are facing in Centurion.

“Because the stream is so close to the source of the litter, we can easily catch it before it ends up travelling further downstream.”

Snyman said the net was already creating opportunities for work in the area.

READ MORE: Efforts to clean Hennops intensify

“We have a group of people living there who have agreed to collect the trash from the net which they can then resell.

“So the net is creating an income for the community while also ensuring the litter is kept at bay.”

One of the volunteers, Gareth Hansen, explained what the litter coming down the river looks like.

“There are parts of the river where the banks are completely filled with plastic and the water is raw sewage,” Hansen said.

“The water from this stream (Kaalspruit) comes from a source within Tembisa township.”

READ MORE: Black sludge in canal near Hennops shocks

At the source the water is so clear “that we even drank directly from it”.

But, said Hansen, the water was quickly polluted by garbage and sewage in the area.

“With Willem, we want to install further traps at other streams,” he added.

Source: https://rekordcenturion.co.za/182225/river-activists-block-garbage-net-save-hennops-river/

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