The community of Phoenix stepped up to a healthy environment by planning the cleaning of the streams in Phoenix.
Safe Cities, a non-profit company, focusing on environmental issues, is embarking on a river/streams transformation project. The streams and wetlands in Phoenix are currently playgrounds for criminals, prostitutes and drug-dealers. It has become dumping sites and this is posing major health risks to the community. Safe Cities is planning the cleaning, transformation and sustainable development of these streams and wetlands. This pilot project will kick off on 5 October 2022 in Phoenix and, thereafter, be rolled out to other towns and suburbs. The community has been mobilised to assist with the cleaning up of the streams. Many volunteers have come forward with the anticipation to see the transformation of the streams in Phoenix.
The Streamline project was launched on Thursday, 22 September 2022, in Phoenix, in collaboration with eThekwini municipality. The launch was well attended by over forty officials representing Durban Solid Waste; Parks, Leisure and Cemeteries; Environmental Health; Roads and Stormwater; Water and Sanitation; Coastal and Drainage, Area-based management; SAPS; and Metro Police. Councilors Maggy Johnson, Lyndal Singh, Tino Pillay, Samier Singh and Michelle Lutchmen were well represented and pledged their support for a sustainable project. Education officers from DSW (Durban Solid Waste) and DWS (Department of Water and Sanitation) will assist with creating awareness and educating residents in the local communities and schools about the devastating consequences of polluted streams and how healthy streams contribute to a healthy community. Dinesh Pillay, Chairperson of the SAPS Community Policing Forum also attended the launch and is positive that this project will contribute positively to the curbing of crime in Phoenix.
Delegates collaborated and developed a process that will be used as a template for the transformation of each stream. Water samples are already taken from potential streams, so that volunteers are not exposed to harmful pollutants. Decisions are underway about which stream will be tackled first on 5 October.
“Streams are the blood-vessels of the Earth. If they are clogged, the Earth will have a heart attack”, said Gerda Strydom, Chairperson of Safe Cities. “Our streams are important because they protect us against floods, filter harmful pollutants, maintain the flow of water during drought, offer economic value and provide recreation benefits”. Gerda explained that the project especially involves the sustainable training and development of residents to maintain streams and wetlands, planting of vegetation, recycling, etc., to contribute to the overall well-being of Phoenix”. She commended all officials and members of the community who are eager to make this project a success, and implores local business owners and co-operatives to invest in this initiative for the benefit of a clean and healthy community.
Volunteers are encouraged to contact Safe Cities for further information, at email@example.com or our Facebook Page: Safe Cities Media.
Report and photography by Zoé Pillay.