I grew up overlooking a river in Pretoria abutting to the Moreleta Spruit. It abounding one day, abrasion our lounge appliance into the garden, and I bethink my mom putting on her favourite bittersweet clover black gown, avaricious her jewellery box in haste, and shouting, “Kids, we accept to get out of here!” Fortunately, the storm below and all was not lost, bar broke curtains and carpets. My aesthetics afterwards that was: never alive abutting to a river.
There is, however, article effectively alluring about a river and I acquisition myself already afresh active abutting to one.
The Hennops River, the longest river in Gauteng, whispers of ancient adorableness and abundance, but is now in furry disarray, coated in carrion and layers of plastic. She calls out my name and, back I did try to avoid her cutting distress, my babe tugged at my arm and said, “Mommy, you accept to do something!” Hennops Blue Border administrator Katherine Fillmore and breadth board baton for ambiance Sarah Mashigo. (Photo: Lynne Hinde)
Thus it was that in April 2013 I responded to an email agreeable associates of Southdowns Estate in Irene to appear calm to advice the river. Five years after the columnist of that email, Dave Cochrane, opened an NPO, Hennops Blue Horizon, and I abutting him as a administrator calm with Amanda Jacobs, the administrator of the Hennops River Forum. Our aim is to accession acquaintance and galvanise civilian society, corporations and government to affiliate in rehabilitating the Hennops River.
Using amusing media as an able belvedere I created the Facebook folio Alleviate the Hennops River and began to addition posts about river cleans, attached single-use artificial and active activity according to creating a greener footprint. Through this page, amazing access and relationships accept been artificial to advice alleviate the river. Last year a acquaintance beatific me a video Willem Snyman from fresh.ngo had fabricated about abating the Hennops. We met over a cup of tea and honey and a aureate atom of activation was united.
The acquaintance attack took me to Tembisa, to Freedom Street, to be exact, and affairs out decrepit nappies, acclimated condoms and endless added extensions of humanity’s waste, we were accepted by a association in a clean-up attack alleged Arehlwekiseng – Let’s clean.
With a admired acquaintance by my side, Lynn Hinde, who drives me to the cleans with her car abounding with gumboots and gloves, we accept captivated in the friendships and access while charwoman the Sedibeng Stream. Partnering with bounded recycling aggregation Destination Green, Breadth Board for Ambiance baton Sarah Mashigo, Freedom Street citizen Alitha Malele, breadth councillor Mabotha Phokwane, the Department of Environmental Affairs’ Good Green Deeds Attack and endless volunteers, the attack has developed from backbone to strength.
We acknowledgment anniversary ages and with the Arehlwekiseng song created by Malele and accompany – calling men, women and accouchement to affiliate and apple-pie – on our lips, we move in a anniversary to honour Mother Earth and our active waters.
Today we are on our eighth apple-pie of Freedom Street and the movement is expanding, with Mashigo activating volunteers in addition breadth of Tembisa to clean. Accoutrements and accoutrements of debris are abounding by animated people, antic ablaze chicken T-shirts and the face of our bright president. At the end of the clean, Sam Machokoto arrives in a van abounding with sandwiches, bake-apple and water, sponsored by Outsurance and organised by Mariska Keyter and Louan van Rooyen.
Malele has taken the attack further, affective a accumulation of association to apple-pie Freedom Street every Tuesday and Thursday. A assurance has been erected abutting to the beck account “No Dumping” with the attack logo, and a new esplanade demography appearance abutting to the beck is affidavit to absolute change on the horizon.
Recently, I addressed the Hennops River Forum analogue the capability of the Arehlwekiseng Attack and as a result, Sizakele Ndzhukula from the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) for Ambiance and Sustainability has asked to accompany the campaign.
Last weekend, we danced at a Sokkie for the Hennops organised by Platteland in Centurion. Funds were aloft and donated to the accomplished assignment fresh.ngo is accomplishing on the river. Malele and accompany abutting us there from Tembisa, chain cultures on the accessible ball floor, with hearts affiliated in a accepted goal: to alleviate our rivers in South Africa.
We are generally contacted by a new person, group, organisation or government official allurement how they can get involved. This makes it basic that we accumulate alive on a cardinal access to affiliate our efforts and restore the Hennops River to her above glory. Ekurhuleni Baptize Aggregation (ERWAT) has met with us at the Hennops River Forum and categorical its affairs to restore its waste-water analysis bulb at Olifantsfontein.
I afresh created a clean-up and apprenticeship attack alleged Ubuntu Flow. The logo is a bubble lion, symbolising the ability and backbone of affiliation through distinct acts of affection and compassion, through ubuntu. Calm with added volunteers we accept talked at schools, educating our adolescence about the accent of healing our rivers and that change starts at home. With allotment and added support, we can booty this apprenticeship attack a continued way.
To go advanced we charge to abide chain civilian society, corporations and government in our adventure to alleviate the Hennops River and in about-face all rivers in South Africa. Calm we can! Baptize is activity and rivers are a axiological antecedent of this life. More admired than gold. Apprenticeship is key to this process.
Here’s to healing the Hennops River. MC
Katherine Fillmore is administrator of NPO Hennops Blue Horizon. She works as a yoga abecedary and reiki healer.
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