National Water Week celebrations in the George area took place on 16 and 17 March 2016 and was highlighted when an inter-governmental task team, consisting of community members; Eden DM Municipal Health Services; Provincial Department of Environmental Affairs, Development and Planning; Department of Environmental Affairs; Tedcor; George Municipality; Department Water and Sanitation and Cape Nature joint forces in addressing pollution of the Meulen River in Thembalethu.
The highly motivated team was shocked by the extreme and highly polluted state of the river. The team consisted of approximately 150 members, of which 100 of them were concerned community members. Lana Alexander, Nomvuyiso Pono, Janine van Wyk, Sivuyile Mtila, Carike Soman, Khanyisa Shoto and David Papier represented Eden DM Municipal Health Services.
Prior to the cleaning of the river, a blitz operation determining possible pollution sources and door to door awareness around pollution were done. Pollution caused by humans is one of the main sources of river systems being demolished in South Africa. Concerns of the participating role players were justified as within a stretch of nearly one kilometre. Nearly 400 bags of refuse were collected. Obstructions and alien vegetation within the river were also cleared and removed.
Efforts like these, although small will surely impact positively towards community involvement in restoring of natural river health.