As a society, we generate waste at an alarming rate which contributes directly to pollution of the only surviving estuary in a metropolitan area worldwide, the Swartkops Estuary.
In Port Elizabeth the trail begins above Uitenhage and moves steadily down the Bay to the confluence that is the Swartkops Estuary.
“Pollution of the Swartkops River through the presence of heavy metals, litter and general waste contributes to an ecological disaster impacting river life forms such as mud and sand prawn, pencil bait/razor clam, blood worms and tongue worm,” said Denis Murphy from the Uitenhage Lions Club.
“All these in turn contribute to human health issues which include E Coli. Of late Hepatitis A has been contracted by a person through the ingestion of oysters from the river.
“A major contribution to the pollution is the litter deposited in the Motherwell channel which in turn acts as the source of an ecological disaster in the making.
According to Wayne Rudman from Uitenhage, who is the Zwartkops Conservancy (ZC) Team Honorary Marine Conservation Officer, “actions have consequences and we need to strive to develop a person’s conscience to differentiate between right and wrong. Especially for those who are not taught the basics thereof.”
To this effect the Winterberg Primary School Grade 7s were invited to attend an interactive educational lesson presented by Jenny Rump of the ZC that took place at Dufor Park Edinburgh Drive in Amsterdamhoek and ended with a visit to the Motherwell Channel.
“The objectives of the Zwartkops Conservancy are directly related to pollution, education and working towards obtaining a Ramsar accreditation which is an International Wetland important site,” said Rudman.
In order to assist with the achievement of obtaining the accreditation and to create awareness among juveniles (who are our future) about pollution and litter the Uitenhage Lions Club funded the transport of the scholars to the Educational lecture provided by the ZC. The message is aimed at trying to develop a culture to use bins and not litter.
Lion President Barend Erasmus confirmed that by “uniting with other services, civic and community groups, we can strengthen ties and reach more people in need.
“With the necessary assistance this project can contribute to job creation, improved life style and a better life for all.”