by Katherine Fillmore
The Hennops River Forum went well today with good attendance from key officials and stakeholders. The Department of Water Affairs outlined that they are awaiting action plans from municipalities along the river to implement solid waste management solutions and management of waste water treatment works. They will monitor progress and keep the Forum updated. Special attention is on the Kaalspruit, a tributary of the Hennops River. We await feedback on this. City of Johannesburg is working daily on fixing sewers and man holes. Anthony Duigan of ARMOUR said that the action from citizens towards healing the Hennops is showing that civil society can work together with government to bring about change. It is up to the individual to start recycling and saying no to single use plastics. A big campaign against the use of disposable nappies also needs to take place with biodegradable alternatives becoming the norm. The rivers are lined with nappies. Education is key. Our youth is our future, so if you are a teacher or connected to a school in some way please get out there and educate on the importance of healing our rivers. Visit www.hennopsblue.co.za for tips. Education is vital in impoverished areas and it was discussed that a system needs to be implemented to assist informal settlements with waste management and incentivized recycling campaigns. Communities should start waste management campaigns whereby they receive something in exchange for waste, for example if you hand your rubbish into recycling depots you get airtime in exchange. The Forum said they would look into how they can start implementing this. Fresh.ngo is having a meeting focusing on education on Monday 11 February from 10am -1pm at Royal Elephant hotel, Wierda Rd Eldoraigne. ‘A multidisciplinary education project to restore the bonds with nature and help create a clean and healthy environment, while teaching proper values and utilising the riverine areas as open-air classrooms and restore ecosystems . Hope to see input from various fields to structure an eco-friendly way forward,’ says Willem Snyman. The various clean up campaigns organized by Willem Snyman are proving highly effective in making people aware of the fundamental role they can play in helping the environment and showing the people that they have the ability to reclaim the rivers. Positive energy is powerful and through this uplifting approach small waves are gathering to create the momentum of a giant wave of change! Well done and thank you to all of you for uniting with this cause!