Take care of rivers for quality water

Let's protect and keep our rivers clean for water security, the writer says.
Let's protect and keep our rivers clean for water security, the writer says.
Image: Stock

Rivers are the lifeblood of the nation, let's protect and treasure them.

The healthy flow of rivers is a sign of life in a community, especially in a water-scarce country such as SA. Water is life and rivers are the mode of transport, ensuring that everyone has access to the source of life.

Rivers, therefore, play a major and crucial role in ensuring water access to all living beings and as recreational places.

Dams store and provide water for different activities but also rely on rivers to be effective.

Let's protect and keep our rivers clean for water security. The major threat to our rivers is pollution, which negatively affects the quality of water.

Water quality is critical for the river health and the health of aquatic life and the end users of the water. Pollution compromises the quality of water, thereby affecting the quantity of water for use.

The pollution of our rivers is basically the result of our own behaviours and actions - in communities and sectors such as agriculture, mining and industry.

People have turned our rivers and streams into rubbish dumps, turning them into sites of diseases such as cholera, due to high levels of bacteria.

The pollution of rivers also negatively affects the socio-economic development of communities as we once saw with the postponement of the prestigious Dusi canoe marathon in KZN.

Every South African is affected in the quest to find solutions for the pollution of rivers problem.

The department of water and sanitation has come up with the Clear Rivers campaign to encourage the public to adopt a river, clean it and strive to keep it healthy and free-flowing at all times.

The annual campaign basically is a way of connecting people to their sources of water and calls on citizens to make time to clean up rivers and water ecosystems.

If you look around, it is easy to see that there are some rivers which are dry as they did not recover from the drought and the effects of climate change which has led to the country receiving less and less rain every year.

The fact that there are dry rivers is a wake-up call to all of us to protect and keep all the rivers that still have water healthy as water has no substitute and without water there is no life.

Themba Khoza, Mbombela

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