Residents clean-up Elsieskraal River

2019-05-28 06:01
Kate Chisholm picks up a paper floating in the river. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

Kate Chisholm picks up a paper floating in the river. PHOTO: TIYESE JERANJI

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Residents from Pinelands and the surroundings came together to clean-up Elsieskraal River on Saturday 11 May.

Armed with bags, gloves and tongs, residents took to the river to clean it. Various items such as bottle caps, plastics, chips packets, bottles among other things were picked up.

The clean-up was initiated by Renew Elsieskraal River group, a group of residents who have taken the responsibility to clean the canal and make it a green space. The group also aims to see more aquatic and indigenous plants along the banks of the river.

In April the group held an adopt a tree day and planted about 100 trees along the canals banks (‘Looking after the Elsieskraal River’, People’s Post, 23 April)

To their dismay, while cleaning they also came across lumps of fat in the river. This is not the first time that the group has encountered this.

One of the volunteers Kate Chisholm says this was because someone poured fat in stormwater system which then flows into the river.

“In the last clean-up, we traced the big chunks of fat all the way up to the industrial area in Elsies River. When we got there, we couldn’t see exactly where it came from because it was in the underground pipes. There are many factories there and we couldn’t really identify where it came from. We just had to report it,” she says.

Chisholm says they pick up these fat chunks on the canal banks and it floats in the river.

“It’s awful, people who do this don’t realise they are affecting marine life. The fat sticks on plants and animals and it is bad. People have to stop this and start looking after the environment,” she says.

After a couple of hours of cleaning the volunteers filled about 13 bags with all kinds of rubbish.

The Renew Elsieskraal River group will continue the clean-ups and also look after the trees they planted in April to ensure they don’t grow too bushy, but are nice and tidy.

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