PRETORIA NEWS / 11 NOVEMBER 2019, 06:46AM / LIAM NGOBENI
Pretoria - A staggering 4000 bags of rubbish have been removed from various points of the heavily polluted Hennops River.
However, more still needs to be done to remove tons of plastic and rubbish from the river, according to a non-profit organisation that has taken up the task of setting up big nets to capture all the rubbish coming upstream.
Willem Snyman from Fresh.Ngo told the Pretoria News that, on average, they filled up about 150 to 200 bags per clean-up, and sometimes they had several in a month.
“About 50 truck loads of rubbish have also been removed during the clean-up.”
Snyman, who got involved five years ago, said they were concerned about the aqua life that had dwindled significantly, as the river’s situation deteriorated.
He said the densely populated top parts of the river were the most polluted, with massive amounts of trash being disposed of into wetland areas and streams, with numerous blocked and overflowing sewerage mains, in Tembisa and Olievenhoutbosch, not boding well for the river.
In a bid to reduce the amount of rubbish in the river from major sources, they installed a larger net on the Kaalspruit, which is the major source, and a second on the Clayville tributary, coming from Tembisa.
The third is in the Rietspruit, below Olievenhoutbosch, and the fourth below SuperSport Park, in Centurion.
They had gotten local volunteers, who were assisting in the cleaning of the nets.
“We want to expand, with more nets, and still need to remove a whole plastic island, of about a 100 tons, from the river - soon, before it all gets washed down.”
With the big rains recently, Snyman said tons of plastic and styrofoam had been caught in just the one trap at SuperSport Park.
“It seems the nets are going to be very successful to stop solid waste pollution and remove massive amounts of plastic and styrofoam from our waterways, that would otherwise have harmed our health and the environment.”
He said they would make the new nets stronger to resist the great force of the water.
“We look for natural, permanent solutions, using what is already there.”
“We’ve already spent three weeks cleaning the weir at the dam wall, which was completely blocked, to restore the river’s flow, it is now working again as a very good litter trap,” said Snyman.