Women team to clean river

Thursday, August 5, 2010
By: 
Silas Nduvheni

Thohoyandou - A team of 100 women have undertaken to spend a year cleaning up the Luvuvhu River in Limpopo.

Addressing the launch of the Luvuvhu Adopt-A-River project in Tshishaulu, near Thohoyandou, on Wednesday, Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi, said R800 000 had been allocated for the initiative.

"We have set aside R800 000 for the Luvuvhu Adopt-A-River project and about 100 rural women from the villages around Vhembe have been identified to clean the Luvuvhu River for a period of a year," she said. "These women will be afforded a stipend on a monthly basis and will also be trained on water resource management."

Mabudafhasi said the protection of South Africa's water sources was a priority.

"Our rivers are highly polluted. They are dumping areas for all types of waste. The health of our rivers has deteriorated and ecosystems are affected," she said.

The department is implementing a nationwide river health programme to monitor river health.
"As a way of intervention towards minimising the risks of pollution in our rivers, the Adopt-A-River project was introduced as means of creating awareness among South Africans to take care for water," said Mabudafhasi.

The Adopt-A-River project was officially launched in March this year during National Water Week.

The launch of the Luvuvhu Adopt-A-River project on Wednesday was attended by Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale, Vhembe district mayor Falaza Mdaka and Thulamela municipal mayor Thivhulawi Makumbane.

Mabudafhasi said the success of the project depended on the active participation and commitment of provincial and local government and communities. "People must be taught to conserve water as we are living in the water stress country, and we must recycle water for future usage," Mabudafhasi said.

The project is one of two in Limpopo that the minister launched this week as part of her department's public participation programme.

The other project was the R20 million Maila Medicinal Plant Conservation project that was launched outside Louis Trichardt on Tuesday.