Pretoria, Feb 15 (efe-epa).- A handful of volunteers took part in the latest cleanup action on the severely polluted Hennops River in Pretoria on Monday.
The day’s work focused on a floating island of trash — mostly discarded polystyrene — in the middle of the river, known as ‘Polly Island’.
The Hennops River in Gauteng is one of the worst polluted rivers in the region, choked with pollutants and plastic waste.
A lack of sanitation facilities has turned the waterway into an open sewer and many locals also use it to dispose of their rubbish as there are no municipal services.
Hennops Revival, a nonprofit organization that aims to revive and restore the waterway, holds regular cleanup operations on the river.
The NGO also carries out environmental education upstream and has plans to work on community improvement projects such as urban farming with residents.
A quarter of South Africa’s major rivers are considered critically endangered, according to a World Wide Fund for Nature report in 2016.
South African minister Gugile Nkwitni has said that water pollution is the biggest problem facing the country.
Water is a scarce commodity in South Africa and most of the country’s provinces have suffered from shortages over the past decade. EFE-EPA