On World Cleanup Day, a group of dedicated Buccleuch residents and members of the rate-payers association took on a challenging mission: cleaning up the area surrounding Bridge Road, which had become a hotbed for debris accumulation. While their efforts were commendable, the task ahead proved even more daunting when they set their sights on the nearby Jukskei River.
The Jukskei River, meandering through Buccleuch, required far more helping hands than those who had gathered to tackle the cleanup on September 16. This serene river had suffered from the effects of litter and waste, and its condition was far from ideal. The river concealed an unexpected relic from a bygone era – a car, swept away during a storm at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, now nestled within its waters to add to the challenges.
Lauren Nightingale, a resident of Buccleuch, expressed her determination to address the issue, emphasising that small actions can lead to significant change. However, she stressed the need for a collective effort to tackle the accumulated environmental damage over the years.
Nightingale called on the authorities responsible for road management and public well-being in Buccleuch to take decisive action. Suggestions included implementing more litter traps further upstream, clearing out obstructions like tree trunks, and combatting the issue of single-use plastics. She also highlighted concerns about dumping sewage into the river, particularly in the Frankenwald area.
Alexandra Water Warriors NPC initially advertised the cleanup around Bridge Road. However, as the hours passed, the expected reinforcements failed to materialise. Only nine locals, including Mohamed Essop, had turned up by the banks of the Jukskei River. Essop lamented the short-sightedness of those who ignore the environmental consequences of littering and emphasised the importance of long-term thinking in preserving nature for future generations.
The Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) was contacted to address the persistent debris management issue. Bertha Peters-Scheepers, the JRA spokesperson, assured that the Bridge Road low-lying bridge was in the final design stages. Furthermore, plans were underway to address the high-level drive bridge along the Jukskei River in Buccleuch. The JRA had appointed a contractor, and public participation was on the horizon, with a sod-turning event scheduled as part of the city’s transport-month activities in October.
While the task of rejuvenating the Jukskei River remains considerable, the collective efforts of concerned residents and ongoing initiatives demonstrate a commitment to restoring and preserving this vital natural resource. It underscores the significance of community-driven action in safeguarding our environment for future generations.
Picture: X / David_S_Tembe
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