MTO to revive Tsitsikamma wetlands

2018-12-20 06:01
With the launch of their multi-million Rand ambitious project in 2005, local MTO Group is set to restore long-forgotten - but crucial - wetlands to the Tsitsikamma region - conserving water and helping local communities.                       Photos:SUPPLIED

With the launch of their multi-million Rand ambitious project in 2005, local MTO Group is set to restore long-forgotten - but crucial - wetlands to the Tsitsikamma region - conserving water and helping local communities. Photos:SUPPLIED

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AN ambitious multi-million Rand project by MTO Group, is set to restore long-forgotten - but crucial - wetlands to the Tsitsikamma region - conserving water and helping local communities.

With the launch of their rehabilitation project in 2005, MTO Group removed alien plants and addressed historical damage caused over decades, including the plugging of drainage ditches and reducing the impact of erosion.

The project furthermore involves the construction of gabions (mesh cages filled with rocks) and weirs (low-level dams to encourage water retention), as well as eco-logs to block human-made drainage channels.

“It also recognised that some wetland problems originate further upstream and MTO has for the past few years been rehabilitating a Tsitsikamma tributary river, located on Fingo tribal land belonging to the Mfengu community,” says MTO Group CEO Lawrence Polkinghorne.

“In total, the project has laid down 1818m3 of gabion structures and 349m³ of concrete structures, installed over 75 eco-logs and cleared 145.5 hectares of invasive species.

“Overall 2,882m² of wetland banks have already been restored.”

To date - excluding training, logistics and certain infrastructure - MTO has spent over R11.5 million on the restoration.

“Sustainability is very important to us, particularly in a country with so few water resources,” says Polkinghorne. “Water is a very precious resource and we all have a role to play in its conservation. MTO is committed to environmental sustainability; we see it as a ticket to the game.”

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