Clean up rivers 'or else'

2008-06-05 00:00

Local authorities have been warned to “get their house in order” and prevent river pollution or face prosecution. Lin Gravelet-Blondin, deputy director: water quality management for the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (Dwaf), issued this warning to Msunduzi municipal staff at a recent strategic management workshop organised by Dwaf to address the crisis in water quality in local rivers and clarify the functions of the role players involved. It was attended by officials from Umgeni Water, Msunduzi Municipality, Dwaf and the Duzi-uMngeni Conservation Trust (Duct). The problem of river water quality caught public attention during this year’s Hansa Powerade Dusi Canoe Marathon when 45% of participants became ill.

River scientist and environmental consultant Dr Mark Graham has said that “what happens to the inadequate sewage system when there is a heavy storm is like expecting the old R103 road to carry the traffic that uses the N3 highway during peak holiday season”.

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