Clean up the pass

Go! & Express - - Front Page - QHAMANI LINGANI

MORE than 100 peo­ple have signed an on­line pe­ti­tion this week to re­quest that Buf­falo City Metro clean up and main­tain the Buf­falo Pass. They are also re­quest­ing BCM to pro­vide a con­ve­nient fa­cil­ity for peo­ple to dump their refuse legally.

GO! news edi­tor Ethi­enne Arends took “the scenic route” re­cently but found the once-stun­ning views tar­nished by il­le­gally dumped house­hold rub­bish, build­ing rub­ble and loads of gar­den refuse.

On the “Fix Our Bro­ken City” Face­book page, Neil Smith, who is the page’s ad­min­is­tra­tor, re­ported that raw sewage was also be­ing dumped there.

In a let­ter sent to BCM of­fi­cials, Smith cited that the amounts of rub­bish could ad­versely af­fect the wildlife through the in­ges­tion of plas­tic.

“This is a tourist gem which has been al­lowed to fall into this dis­gust­ing state. Wa­ter flow dur­ing rain­fall washes these pol­lu­tants into river sys­tems [which can kill fish and an­i­mals drink­ing this wa­ter],” he said.

The Buf­falo Pass in East Lon­don is one of the most beau­ti­ful forested ar­eas in the East­ern Cape and fa­mous for the um­tiza tree and the Um­tiza Na­ture Re­serve which is home to en­dan­gered species such as the blue duiker and African fin­foot.

“The Um­tiza lis­ter­ana grows in very few and lim­ited places, the num­ber of which I can count on one hand. Peo­ple visit this for­est just to see this tree,” Smith ex­plained.

“I am, quite frankly, shocked that this level of mis­man­age­ment in this area has been al­lowed to oc­cur, al­most to the point of no re­turn. I also can­not un­der­stand how we can, as a city, ad­ver­tise on ra­dio about our city as a won­der­ful tourist des­ti­na­tion, while in the back­ground these beau­ti­ful ar­eas are left to de­te­ri­o­rate.”

He added they would like to see some sort of plan with dead­lines to rec­tify this sit­u­a­tion and mech­a­nisms put in place to en­sure that this re­mains so.

“It would also be nice to see some plans put in place in co­op­er­a­tion with the depart­ment of en­vi­ron­men­tal af­fairs to re­store this area to a spe­cial place for tourism and the walk­ing trails re-es­tab­lished.”

Res­i­dents had pre­vi­ously blamed the spike in il­le­gal dump­ing on the lack of proper land­fill and dump sites around the city, es­pe­cially after the Sec­ond Creek site closed a few years ago.

Buf­falo City Metro spokesman Samkelo Ng­wenya had not re­sponded to ques­tions sent to him at the time of go­ing to print.

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