Swim for Rivers: Raising awareness of river health in SA

2017-10-14 12:30 - Gabi Zietsman
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Cape Town - Swim for Rivers athletes to take on Eastern Cape's rivers in fourth leg of a nationwide awareness campaign around river health.

This is part of a challenge that started in 2015 to swim the rivers of all nine provinces in South Africa and highlight the issues of pollution and the role they play in communities.

It was started by Cape Town-based swimmer Andrew Chin. So far he has swum with fellow swimmers in Free State, Northern Cape and a failed attempt to do the Berg River, which had to be abandoned after the team got too ill from water pollution.

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For the Eastern Cape leg, Chin will be joined by Eastern Cape swimmers Mandy Uys, Joy Roach and Sean Murray, and they will start at Kromme Rivier in St Francis Bay on 14 October and finish at the mouth of Nahoon River in East London on 21 October.

They will swim 10km a day in seven estuaries, including Gamtoos, Sundays, Kowie, Keiskamma and Gonubie/Kei.

Some of the challenges that await the swimmers include pollution, sewarage overflows, fertiliser run off and other elements that have a negative impact on river health.

Along the way they will raise awareness in schools and communities in partnership with WESSA's Eco-Schools programme and NSRI's Waterwise water safety programme.

"In addition to raising awareness and encouraging individual corrective action, the athletes participating in the 2017 Swim for Rivers hope to spark debate about what the authorities and public can and should be doing to save our rivers for life," says WESSA.

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