Durban's beach cleaning volunteers let down by city officials - organiser

2016-08-25 14:21
(Dale Johnson, Facebook)

(Dale Johnson, Facebook)

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Durban - A Durban man who heads a team of volunteers that regularly clean the Umgeni River mouth at Blue Lagoon says they are being let down by the eThekwini municipality.

Dale Johnson, founder of Facebook group #CleanBlueLagoon, told News24 that refuse disposal upriver meant that the efforts of hundreds of volunteers to clean the beaches were in vain.

He said the tipping point had come at the weekend when, after the beach was cleaned and rain fell, they found themselves back to square one.

"We always pray for rain, but sadly when it comes it brings with it the next load of waste. So, just two days after the clean-up, we are back to square one and really it is a never ending problem," he said.

"Our problems are up river with informal settlements and illegal dumping. We are putting a plaster on the problem and it is massive. What we actually need is the support of local and provincial government. I don't believe for a minute that this will be allowed during the Commonwealth Games in 2022, but I don't see why we have to wait," Johnson added.

People give their time

He said those giving their time and effort to clean did not have the backing of the City of Durban.

"We have a lot of people on board, giving of their free time but we feel we have no input from the municipality on what they intend on doing to remedy the problem. The issue is doing something about what is causing this, going to its root. There are just no facilities for refuse collection."

He said the next community clean-up had been planned for the end of September, but that the current state of the lagoon may necessitate bringing it forward.

"We have had the municipality down there once when there was a problem of medical waste, but that is the extent of their involvement. We need more drastic help from them," he said.

Johnson's allegations were put to the eThekwini municipality's communications department on two separate occasions. No response had been received at the time of publishing.

Read more on:    durban  |  pollution

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