CRISIS: Hartbeespoort Dam needs you

An aerial photo taken of Hartbeespoort Dam on 20 August 2017 shows how much of the dam is covered with the invasive water hyacinths. l

Hartbeespoort Dam is in crisis!

The infestation of water hyacinth which has plagued Hartbeespoort Dam for years has once again grown out of control.

According to the Hartbeespoort Dam Rehabilitation Steering Committee, the invasive plant, which doubles in size every two weeks or so, covers 40 per cent of the dam.

Clearing the water hyacinth is an extremely costly endeavour, one that is being undertaken almost entirely by the residents and local businesses.

“We are heavily reliant on donations from the public in order to save our dam,” said Rudy Joles of the committee.
“We would like to spread our reach throughout Gauteng, as many people enjoy the dam over weekends for recreational purposes.”

The public can get involved in several ways, one of which is donating empty 2-litre cold drink bottles.

According to Joles, the water hyacinth moves around the dam extremely quickly as the wind changes direction. This makes the clearing process even more difficult and time-consuming.

The bottles will be used to a create buoyant net around the plants to keep them in one area so it can be cleared easily. The bottles will also make them more visible for dam users.

Caxton Local Media has offered to host collection points for these bottles at its various offices in the Gauteng area. The bottles must have tops and the labels removed.

The public can also get involved by making monetary donations towards the rehabilitation project.

At the moment, the team only has sufficient funds to clear about 10 per cent of the infestation and it is predicted that, at the current rate of growth, the dam will be 90 per cent covered by December this year.

Should you wish to donate bottles, please drop them off at one of the following Caxton Local Media offices:

  • 1187 Cornelius Street, Weltevreden Park
  • 368 Jan Smuts Avenue, Craighall Park.

To see a video of the extent of the infestation, visit www.randburgsun.co.za
To donate towards the rehabilitation, visit www.hrsc.org.za

 

 

 

 

  AUTHOR
Aimee McGill

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