Campaign to keep rivers pollution free

Friday, July 19, 2019

As part of dedicating 67 minutes of goodwill during Nelson Mandela Month, the Department of Water and Sanitation has embarked on a campaign to educate communities about the benefits of maintaining healthy rivers.

The department -- in partnership with Bloemwater, Mangaung Metro Municipality, the Department of Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (DESTEA), Coca Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA), South African National Defence Force and Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) -- is running the Clear River Campaign, which aims to involve all like-minded communities, businesses, civil society organisations and individuals to clean-up rivers, streams and wetlands to pay tribute to former President Nelson Mandela.

The department said that this year, the campaign yielded a massive turnout of over 400 community members, including volunteers from the department and partners.

The volunteers and partners gathered at Renoster River near Bergman in Bloemfontein on Thursday to support the campaign.

“An awareness campaign was carried out to communicate a message that would have a lasting effect to communities. The message communicated was that the community should take responsibility of their resource - water.

“They were encouraged to become environmentally savvy, and particularly keep their local streams free from pollution. The community was also encouraged to recycle their waste instead of dumping it. In this way, they would not only keep their environment clean but they would also earn cash,” the department said.

The department reiterated that there is a need for water security, particularly “in the face of global climate change and a multitude of anthropogenic impacts affecting our rivers wetlands and broader catchments”.

The Clear Rivers Campaign will run throughout the country for the duration of July. –