Municipality, please clean the dirty river
ABERDEEN - The Kraai River in Aberdeen has run dry ages ago. A running river next to or through a town symbolises life, progress and prosperity. The very opposite is as true. The empty, dry Kraai River contains seeping sewage, old tires, building rubble and garden refuse. It is a dump.
Aberdeen’s official dumping site neither has a demarcated official area for the dumping of building rubble; nor is there any form of garden refuse recycling or an official dumping area. The official weekly refuse removal service does not remove garden refuse as such. Many households do not have the vehicular or financial means to dispose of garden refuse properly. It is a common sight to see gardeners transporting garden refuse with a wheelbarrow to the nearest empty site or the riverbed. Some of the few entrepreneurs who remove building rubble and/or garden refuse, simply dump it in the river and/or in the surrounding area. Even the municipality workers themselves sometimes simply leave building rubble next to wherever they fix driveways or portions of the road.
“I don’t know why the municipality does nothing about this mess. They can fine these people, or maybe they can just open and manage a dumpsite right here where people are dumping rubbish in any case. But like this, what will happen to my sheep and goats and crops one of these days? I cry for this river”, says one of the small farmers with a smallholding close to the banks of the Kraai River.
As was proven on at least two previous occasions, the empty Kraai River can become a roaring mass of floodwater overnight. In early 1961 the river overflowed its banks after a week of rain. Some houses in Lotusville and some smallholdings town's side were underwater. In 1971 it happened again, and two people lost their lives. On neither of those occasions, the riverbed was filled with building rubble. Another resident close to the river articulates her frustration: “We are Laingsburg in the waiting. When the flood comes, I must just drown because if not, I will sue this municipality for its negligence”.