On World Water Day the Green Anglicans joined the Executive Mayor of Cape Town,Geordin Hill-Lewis and his water team for a World Water day paddle.
The event was organised with the University of Cape Town, Dr Kevin Winter and the Khayelitsha Canoe Club
We paddled along Zandvlei, an important estuary and nature reserve, to underscore the need to improve our inland water quality.
Partnerships between the City of Cape Town and community, stakeholders and industry are key to addressing chronic pollution in our waterways and working together towards becoming a water sensitive city.
‘A water sensitive city of the future is a place where people want to live and work. It is a place where a healthy natural environment enables a range of social, ecological, health and economic benefits. It is a city that consists of water sensitive communities, where citizens have the knowledge and desire to make wise choices about water, are actively engaged in decision-making, and practice informed, responsible habits that protect water related infrastructure. Our commitment is to do even more, together with our residents, to clean up Cape Town’s waterways and safeguard the environment – a difficult task, but one we can tackle with the necessary commitment, innovation and compassion,’ said Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.
‘We can’t do such a journey on our own. The city of Amsterdam inspires us today by sharing their own journey and dream of a swimmable and liveable city, which was accomplished in 2014 with a yearly City Swim,’ said Mayoral Committee Member (Mayco) for Water and Sanitation, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.
Dr Kevin Winter from UCT , who is a member of Christ Church Kenilworth said it was encouraging to have the Mayor, Mayco Members and officials from the City’s Department of Water and Sanitation actively participating in the World Water Day paddle along with other stakeholders.
‘If we can paddle, and even swim in our waterways, then we can safely say that Cape Town is becoming a healthy city – we are assured of its safety. It can’t become an aspirational call only, but a firm resolve from the City and its citizens. The paddle today is symbolic of a journey that is going to be arduous and challenging, but not without long term rewards in helping to make Cape Town a city with a future for all and place where we want to live,’ said Dr Winter.
An important awareness program is “Bin It, Don’t Block It” (because illegal dumping into the sewer system, stormwater network and our waterways is an ongoing concern, which can be prevented. Illegal dumping into the system is the primary cause of blockages and pump station failures, which result in overflows which drain into the stormwater system and into water bodies.. During 2021 calendar year, the City’s Water and Sanitation Department cleared more than 118 000 sewer blockages across Cape Town, the primary cause of which were misuse of the system. More than R280 million was spent on efforts to address this chronic – yet largely avoidable – problem.
Any litter dropped on the ground or dumped on the street can be washed into rivers via the stormwater pipes. This year over R300 million was also budgeted for clearing of illegal dump sites, which can pollute nearby waterbodies.
Churches and faith communities have a key role to play in spreading awareness and getting involved in clean ups and caring for their communities
image : City of Cape Town