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08 Feb 2021

New litter boom to be placed at uMngeni River mouth

(Northglen News) Picture: Siphiwe Rakgabale of the Durban Green Corridor said he hopes to install a new litter boom across the uMngeni River.

The Durban Green Corridor is planning on installing another litter boom, this time across the uMngeni River, in the hopes of stopping tons of litter and water hyacinth from flowing downstream and ultimately into the ocean. The project has been piloted in Durban for the past 10 years with a total of 10 litter booms now installed.

According to local resident and litter boom uMngeni coordinator, Siphiwe Rakgabale, the purpose of the booms is to target principally plastic packaging that pollute oceans, river systems and beaches.

“Over the December period we managed to install a 100 metres litter boom across the uMngeni River near the Connaught Bridge. However heavy rains and a mass of water hyacinth split the boom, due to the high volume of rubbish and invader plants. We reinstalled it and again heavy rains and another mass of rubbish and hyacinth ended up flowing over the top of the boom.

“Our plan is to now install the newest boom near the mouth of the uMngeni River just after the Ellis Brown Viaduct (M4 bridge) in the hopes that it will stem the tide of rubbish we’ve collected. On average the litter booms that are installed collect between one and two tons of plastic a month,” he said.

Rakgabale added, once installed, the newest litter boom would prove an invaluable resource in the fight against river pollution.