Coast KZN

28 Mar 2017

Call to help conservancy with river weed clearing

Earl Baillache (South Coast Sun) Picture: This photo of the Little Amanzimtoti River taken at the end of January shows the growth of pistia up to the collapsed pedestrian bridge at Doonside Beach.


It has been back-breaking work with little or no help from the community.

Work to clear the Little Amanzimtoti River of pistia (water lettuce) is continuing by Toti Conservancy’s Corinne Winson.

Local activists, the Toti Saints led a concerted effort to remove the aquatic weed from the Warner Beach river last year, but it has made a rampant comeback, covering most of the water from bank to bank.

Corinne started clearing the pistia at the end of January, but it has been back-breaking work with little or no help from the community.

“On Tuesday morning, 28 March my brother-in-law Angus Pyke brought his surf-ski anchor, tied to a long rope and we hauled out piles of the creeper that was covering and holding the water lettuce at the bend of the river,” said Corinne.

“The weeds are still bank to bank from the collapsed pedestrian bridge right back to beyond the road bridge.

We have managed to get herbicide from eThekwini Municipality and Angus is trying to find time to spray at the Amanzimtoti Waste Water Treatment Works.

There is a pond there that has some water lettuce, although they have removed most of it, and there is a lot below where the water discharges into the river.

We hope that if we can kill it there, it will go a long way to ensure there is not a constant regeneration.

But how and when the bulk can be removed is the problem. Shaun Callaghan of Toti Saints did say something about getting involved, but no-one has come forward as yet.”

If you can assist, call Corinne on 084-781-2019 or Angus on 074-951-4267.