Sithembiso Sangweni Compiled this report:
The Baynespruit River Walk was part of celebrating International Rivers Day. The purpose of the walk was to identify the good and bad happening on the crown of the river. The walk was planned to start from the source (Northdale area) to Duzi confluence (Sobantu). Doug, John and Sithembiso all from DUCT participated in this walk, Vuyo Matiwane and Mrs Mngadi represented Sobantu Farmers Association (as they are also affected down by what takes place up stream) and Sandile Ndawonde from Green Network also joined us.
We all met at Sobantu collecting members of the Farmers Assoc. Then we made our way up to Medina Road in Northdale area where our source was according to our map, but unfortunately we were in wrong part of the river. The source was on the next road ( Pioneer road). Thanks to a Hindu Association representative for taking us to right spot. Doug spoke to him about the state of our rivers and how are they – a religious community who depend on the rivers to do their cultural activities – are affected and also what are they doing to improve the state of our river in terms of keeping them clean.
John (in beige jacket), Vuyo (in orange hat) and Sandile Ndawonde (brown cap) preparing to take first water sample. The stream is covered with Alien Invasive Plants
John and Sandile taking water samples between the Elephant’s ear plants.
After water samples were taken we began our walk walking in between tall trees of Castor oil and Bugweed.
We kept walking into thick bush of alien plants following the stream until we walk passed Bombay Heights Secondary School and I wasn’t surprised to find that the school kids didn’t know about Interantional Rivers Day.
After we walk passed the school we took our second sample. Here the river runs behind the house with overgrown Kukuyi grass and this made us lose track of the river and we were forced to follow its path by walking on the road. While walking on the road we met an old man working on his curry leaves garden and he was so scared that he allowed us to collect some his crops but we told him to relax we’re her on a good cause.
We continued walking following the river up until we get to the main road busy road in Northdale and we took our third water sample at the bridge.
The river was contaminated by sewage. Time was against us, temperature was rising and we were all exhausted, we walked until we got to Greytown road we sat under a big gum tree shade and had lunch with Baynespriut River running next to us.