By Dave Cochrane
First stop was a wetland on Archerfish Drive. On the face of it the wetland looks good, but closer inspection shows some stagnant water and litter at the bridge over the wetland. Storm water washes silt into the wetland and causes flooding during heavy rains. The combination of flooding and informal housing encroaching on the watercourse means that the informal houses are often flooded during heavy rains.
It was good to see the Community Worker Programme (CWP) clearing litter on Archerfish Drive.
Next stop was further down on Archfisher Drive. Household refuse is placed in plastic bags on street corners for collection.
Third stop, still in Archerfish Drive was an urban vegetable farm. Members of the local community have been given permission to farm on unused land. The crops are neatly laid out, with irrigation. This is a shining example of small scale farming in an urban area – providing jobs for the farmers and food for the community.
Fourth stop was a new park that has been created outside a clinic, just off Archerfish Drive. The park has a soccer field, a netball court, a kids play area and an outside gym. Unfortunately the park has not yet been opened to the public, and is fenced off. This is a great initiative, but needs to be completed so that the community can experience the benefit.
Just down from the park are retention structures that have been built to stop erosion of the nearby stream. The structures are failing in some places and maintenance is needed.
The water in the stream is clearly from a sewer. One of the sources of the sewer was soon located. This was reported to the municipality who said that they would investigate. Overflowing sewers are a major problem in the area.
The visit indicates that there are initiatives that are trying to deal with the problems – litter collection, structures to stop erosion, and a park. More work needs to be done with waste collection, sanitation, sewer management, storm water management and maintenance of structures that have been put into place.
The vegetable farm is a great initiative and is an example of how we can have functioning small scale farms in our urban areas.