Water Affairs: Adopt a River

2010-08-14 07:20

Durban – The Department of Water Affair have launched a campaign to encourage people to clean dirty rivers.

"I would encourage everyone to adopt a river and clean it because dirty rivers kill the ecosystem," said Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Rejoice Mabudhafasi Mabudhafasi, while cleaning the Isipingo river in Umlazi.

She said her department had launched a programme called Adopt-a-River where communities were encouraged to clean rivers close to them.

"We'll be going across the country visiting different areas and educating people on the importance of clean rivers," she said.

The last river that they visited was the Luvuvhu river in Limpopo and they were expected to visit Mpumalanga during the campaign.

"We build more dams because rivers don't flow, rivers become dry and dirty, but if rivers are clean and flow there is no need to build dams,' said Mabudhafasi.

She said her department was also teaching people the importance of conserving water.

Public initiative

During her visit to KwaZulu-Natal yesterday, she was particularly impressed by 90 women who had taken it upon themselves to clean the Isipingo River since 2008.

"The main challenge was illegal connection of water sewage from people living in the informal settlements. When they flush their toilets all the sewerage goes into the river."

She said this caused children playing in the river to develop illnesses from the dirty water.

Mabudhafasi said her department was working with the department of human settlements, the health department and local government in educating people in informal settlements.

The department has also decided to educate the women further on health issues and will be giving them a stipend of R70 for cleaning the river three times a week, said Mabudhafasi.

She said the women in the community had also planted vegetables next to the river to show people not to throw dirty waste into the river.