Coast KZN

15 Mar 2021

Eco warriors tackle uMngeni River health

(Northglen News) Picture: Some of the Amanzi Ethu Nobuntu Programme members are tackling the health and well-being of the uMngeni River in Durban.

A joint collaboration between the Department of Science and Innovation, the Wildlife and Environment Society South Africa (WESSA), the Duzi Umngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT) as well as local organisations, Adopt-a-River and Umgeni Estuary Conservancy has seen a group of eco-warriors tackle the health and well-being of the uMngeni River in Durban.

The Amanzi Ethu Nobuntu Programme seeks to empower local citizens to be champions of the environment (enviro-champs) in their local community. The pilot project has seen more than 300 eco rangers hard at work monitoring water quality, looking at soil salinity, inspecting water inlets, repairing trails and removing alien invasive plants along the river. Members of the group has been specifically focused on the uMngeni side of the river, specifically from Connaught Bridge to the Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve where they have also been involved in clean-ups.

Durban North resident and founder of Adopt-a-River, Janet Simpkins, said the experience of working with young graduates and locals has been a rewarding experience.

“Locally, Tufbag has partnered with Adopt-a-River and WESSA together with uMngeni Estuary Conservancy have each taken a group of 10 eco-warriors. As co-sponsors, these organisations stepped in to cover the co-funding payment thus ensuring we had local eco-warriors.

“We’ve been fortunate to work with enthusiastic young people, some of whom, have a vested interest in the health of the river because they happen to live alongside it. This programme has seen groups focused on different sections of the uMngeni River. It is thanks to our corporate sponsors that we’ve been able to help this pilot project find success. Those involved have learned so much through Amanzi Ethu Nobuntu,” Simpkins said.