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Hope For The Juck-Skei River
From VeldTalk Issue 76
Hope for the “Yuck-skei” River
Kim Kieser of WET-Africa (Water & Environment Transformation) has devoted her life to healing the Jukskei River. A decade ago, when she rehabilitated parts of the river, her team removed 20 000 tons of solid waste, recycling 10 000 tons of household and industry waste. And the water quality improved dramatically. “E.coli levels plummeted from 22 million parts per 100ml to 240 000 parts per 100ml within two months,” she said.
Now the river is choking again. Each kilometer of the Jukskei in Gauteng contains up to 1 000 tons of garbage in areas such as Alexandra and around 300 tons per km elsewhere.
The good news is that most of the garbage is recyclable. Even better news is that there is hope for the Jukskei once more through Kim’s efforts. With finance and support from the upmarket Waterfall Estate, downstream of Alexandra, WET-Africa and the Clarity Group have been meeting stakeholders to prepare for the launch of the Waterfall Alex River Restoration Project.
“This is vital work,” she adds. “Waterways are the natural arteries of the earth. They are home to countless species and they provide drinking water, irrigation for our food and recreation to millions of people throughout Africa. Most of Africa’s rivers are badly polluted through human activity, negligence, stupidity and greed. WET was formed to provide know-how and resources to help rehabilitate the most fundamental of natural resources and human rights - clean, safe water.”