The City of Ekurhuleni in Gauteng is educating its councillors on the importance of wetlands conservation ethics so that they can pass on the knowledge to residents in their wards.
“The City of Ekurhuleni houses 206 of the 791 wetlands found across the country – two percent of the 206 are totally destroyed, 64 percent are partially destroyed but under threat, and 34 percent have little impact on them,” the city said in a statement on Sunday.
Wetlands refers to land that is wet for more than two weeks of the year down to a depth of 50 centimeters under dry conditions.
On Friday, Ekurhuleni councillors converged at the Dinwiddie Hall in Germiston for a workshop to learn about the importance of conserving these water bodies so as to educate the communities they lead.
“The city is situated at the headwaters of the major water supply sources for Gauteng, such as the Vaal Dam, Rietvlei Dam, and Hartbeespoort Dam, which makes it important for the city to conserve its wetlands. Failure to conserve the wetlands will in turn compromise the neighbouring areas dependent on our water streams for water supply in dry seasons,” the statement said.
During the workshop, councillors learned about the benefits offered by wetlands, such as flood reduction, natural water quality cleansing, habitat for biodiversity, aesthetics, and improving overall quality of life.
Councillors raised general concerns affecting wetlands health in their communities, such as water pollution by households or industries, illegal dumping, infrastructure encroachment by roads and housing, inadequate storm water management measures, and invasive vegetation infestation.
Councillor Tiaan Kotze of ward 37, situated next to a wetland in Dinwiddie, committed to imparting the knowledge he acquired at the workshop to his residents so as to equip them with more information on how to conserve the wetland in their area.
“Currently at my ward we don’t have issues of misconduct around the wetland. However, I believe that the residents still need to learn more about the conservation of the wetlands,” he said in the statement.
– African News Agency (ANA)