Residents keep river clean

Residents of a new suburb in Fisantekraal are working hard to protect a river that runs through their community.

The Greenville Garden City residents started the Mosselbank River Conservation Team (MRCT) late last year and they held their first clean-up of the year at the weekend.

Joined by other Greenville residents and members of non-profit developer Garden Cities, the team cleaned along Mosselbank River and the streets of Greenville on Saturday January 13.

The group, consisting of Greenville Garden City residents Elizabeth Maans, Christine Galant, Tembakazi Ngcobo and Gert Krooi, aims to promote environmental education in Fisantekraal.

Team leader Ms Maans said the clean-up, which was funded by the Cape Town Environmental Education Fund and Garden Cities, had collected more than 50 bags of rubbish.

“The area was a mess,” she said.

Danielle Sterrenberg, from Garden Cities, said plastic bottles made up most of the waste and would be recycled by residents.

She said dumping was an ongoing problem in Fisantekraal and along the Mosselbank River .

In December, MRCT met up with the Friends of the Liesbeek (FOL) at the Liesbeek River in Newlands to learn about the importance of protecting urban freshwater ecosystems.

The excursion was organised by Ms Sterrenberg and environmental sustainability facilitator Andrew Bennett from Icologie.

Ms Maans, said the visit to the Liesbeeck River had been an eye-opener.

“We learnt a lot from being with the Liesbeeck team. We saw how they organise themselves, and we now have a much better idea of what it will take to look after the Mosselbank River,” she said.

Ms Maans and her team have been organising regular clean-ups in Greenville since they moved into their new homes in 2016 but now, with the support of Garden Cities, are also becoming river stewards and local conservation officers.

The goal is for the Mosselbank River team to follow in FOL’s footsteps and become a self-sustaining community organisation caring for the Mosselbank River and the wetlands of Fisantekraal.

The MRCT will be cleaning the river corridor every second Saturday. Contact Ms Sterrenberg at 021 558 7181 or Andrew Bennett at 082 703 3047 if you would like to join this cause.