Volunteers clean Lotus River waterways

Volunteers cleaning up along the Little Lotus River last month. Picture: Facebook

Residents and community groups have been working together to clean up waterways in Lotus River.

They have cleaned the Big Lotus and Little Lotus river mouths, hauling away bags of litter as well as mattresses, tyres and other debris.

The Friends of Zeekoevlei and Rondevlei (FOZR), a non-profit volunteer group helping to protect the environment, joined municipal staff, representatives from the Pristine Earth Collective and The Litterboom Project, and various volunteers, including some from the Rehoboth Primary School in Namibia to clean the Big Lotus River mouth on Saturday July 1. Their efforts followed a clean-up by volunteers of the Little Lotus on Saturday June 10.

FOZR chairman Sidney Jacobs thanked all those who had supported the project, saying, “A big thank you to the wonderful community without whose support and energy none of this positive change would be happening.”

Mr Jacobs said the group was committed to the preservation and protection of local ecosystems, and he said the build up of litter in catchment areas had dire consequences for the environment.

“While efforts have been made to mitigate the problem by implementing litter fences, these preventative measures can only capture a portion of the debris. Unfortunately a considerate volume of litter has already infiltrated the ecosystem, posing a severe threat to flora and fauna.”

Partnerships with the community and various organisations were needed to save the waterways, he said.

“We have the power to improve our environment and demonstrate our responsibility as stewards of mother nature. Our mission is clear: mother nature needs our assistance now more than ever.”

Earlier this year, the City announced that a new Zandvlei weed harvester, which is being built at a factory in Paarden Eiland, would be ready by November.

Weed harvesters work like boats on water, equipped with cutting blades to trim weeds and the capability to collect, transport, and unload aquatic plants.

In Zandvlei, the weed harvester will be used to cut pondweeds and eliminate the build-up of pond scum in the marina.

Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews said: “I’m proud to say that in Cape Town we are always looking for innovative plans to resolve challenges, and to maintain, restore, and preserve our wetlands. Working with our communities and building a network of interested and passionate residents are part of these efforts.”

Volunteers clearing rubbish from the mouth of the Little Lotus River. Picture: Facebook
Municipal staff helped the volunteers with the clean-up of the Lotus River waterways. Picture: Facebook