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20 Sep 2017

Volunteers sieve trash riverside at Ilanda Wilds

Earl Baillach (South Coast Sun) Picture: Craig Chamier of the Sports Centre, Monique de Kock and Romy Wenzel of Sapphire Coast Tourism with the scouts and bags of litter collected after a clean-up of Ilanda Wilds.

More helping hands are needed to keep this beautiful area clean

A small group of volunteers cleaned up Ilanda Wilds on Saturday, 16 September as part of International Coastal Clean-Up Day.

“Some scouts, Craig Chamier of the Sports Centre, Monique de Kock and myself started the clean-up at about 8am,” said Sapphire Coast chairman, Romy Wenzel.

“At first we cleaned up the walkways, moving closer to the river banks, but that’s where most of the litter was found. Plastics, nappies, old shoes, glass, debris, animal skin and bones and even a head board.

We were fortunate the level of the river was low to allow us to cross from one side to the other.”

Romy said lots of more helping hands are needed to keep this beautiful area as clean as possible throughout the year.

Local residents seem to use Ilanda Wilds as a dumpsite as many packed plastic bags were found along the river banks, including household and garden rubbish. “Why is this, especially as there are two official dump sites being in the near vicinity which allow residents to dump free of charge?

We are going to be continually cleaning if the real problem is not attended to – one being the illegal dumping and the second being the dumping of all sorts of rubbish in the rural areas, as it will reach the coast sooner or later once it is thrown into the rivers.

 Denzil van der Westhuizen of Clean Surf Project suggested installing ‘storm netting trash traps’ to prevent litter and debris from flowing into the rivers towards our lagoons and beaches.

I think that’s the only way forward to eventually create a litter-free environment for Amanzimtoti to attract locals, holidaymakers, investors and international travellers.

A big thank you to the scouts, Craig Chamier, ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge for providing the bags, as well as Monique de Kock for getting dirty.