World Environment Day challenge: A paddle-out

2014-06-05 10:27
Groups paddle-out in the Princess vlei. (File, News24)

Groups paddle-out in the Princess vlei. (File, News24)

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South Africa needs to address limited access to water

2014-06-04 12:14

Justin Friedman from For The Love of Water chats to us about the limited access to water we have in South Africa and what we can do to improve it. Watch.WATCH

Cape Town – With World Environmental day upon us, a group of sportspeople and environmentalists in Cape Town have decided to use the opportunity to raise awareness around water pollution.

World Environment Day (WED) is a UN programme created to encourage awareness and action for the environment. The programme has been celebrated in over 100 countries and hopes to encourage people to do something positive for the environment.

In the spirit of this ethos a group of both environmentalist and athletes will paddle out on Cape Town’s waters in order to raise awareness for water pollution.

The event will take place on 8 June; the volunteers will make use of the different inland networks of rivers, lakes and canals.

The group has hopes that the paddle-out will highlight the importance of conserving Cape Town’s rivers and lakes.

According to conservationist Braam Malherbe, these water ways sustain large ecosystems. Damaging to these waterways will contribute to the deterioration of our living conditions over time.

Each paddle-out takes around 11 hours, in order to navigate the 27km route.

Now in its fifth year the paddle-out has over the years seen sections of the rivers and lakes they were paddling through filled with solid waste, plastic bottles and bags, along with submerged and floating weeds that covered large sections of their route.

Through active engagement with communities and public awareness the water pollution in certain areas in the canals in Cape Town has decreased.

This years paddle-out takes place at 06:30 on Sunday 8 June leaving from Muizenberg Beach and entering Zandvlei (Marina da Gama). The paddlers portage from Marina da Gama/Steenberg Canal to Princess Vlei.

After crossing Princess Vlei they portage to Plumstead Canal. Coming out of the canal, the paddlers load their crafts onto trailers and ride bicycles on the M5 to Access Park. They enter the Krom River, paddle and then portage to Black River alongside Rondebosch Golf Course.

From there they proceed along the Liesbeek River to Observatory, River Club and Valkenburg Hospital, then on to Woodstock Beach.  The group then cuts across to Milnerton Estuary and lagoon, finishing at the Milnerton Canoe Club at about 16:00.
Read more on:    un  |  cape town  |  environment  |  pollution  |  water

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