A Critically Modified, Very Poor Condition Stream

Penz Malinga hosted a water workshop for the Mpophomeni Community last week and compiled this report.

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On a lovely and sunny Friday morning  I was joined by Mnqobi, Sihle, Asanda, Philani, Sphe and Andile. We were all excited and ready to tackle the task of testing the waters of the Mthinzima stream.

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As we walked past the newly built houses on the wetland we chatted about how the people who planned to live in those houses would spend most of their summer under a few centimetres of water due to their location.

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We reached the stream at a cattle crossing marked by a lot of dung in and around the water.

r mpop water wshop 006Upon inspecting the water we found lots of bloodworms and tapeworms and we moved on to our first testing site at the bridge.

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We could note a bad stench as we got closer to the water but jumped in nevertheless.

r mpop water wshop 015All the testing sites were in the sandy type category and the results were as follows:

Location/Site Invertebrates caught Results
29.56357 s30.18328 e flatworm, snails, bloodworm 3.00 Critically modified, very poor condition
29.55104 s30.15512 e Flatworm, worms, crab, true-flies 3.25    Critically modified, very poor condition
29.55483 s30.18835 e flatworm, snails, bloodworm 3.00 Critically modified, very poor condition
 29.54645   s30.18991 e Crab, bloodworm, snail, bugs and beetles 4.00 Critically modified, very poor condition

During our third test we noticed a dead snake floating about and we all halted for a bit to inspect it.  It was a night adder. Mnqobi wanted to take it and sell it to an inyanga but Sihle said it would smell too bad as they walked home with it.

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We noted a lot of interesting wildflowers and fungi.

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The boys were particularly interested in the so-called love charms. I told them that my grandfather was a Healer and the only love charm I knew of was made of the flowers of the sweat pea (vigna vexillata), mixed with the fat of an animal that mates for life. Apparently all that you had to do was rub the mixture on your brow and make sure that the first person you look at is the one your heart desires. The boys promised not to try out the remedy due to the fact that an innocent creature would have to be killed.

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After the water testing was all done, we went to explore the ruins of the Dairy Farm on the Midmar side of the road and gazed across the dam at the red hartebeest buck in the distance.

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This workshop is one of twelve which will be conducted in local conservancies in the next few months, funded by N3TC.  Results have been loaded onto the miniSass site – www.minisass.org

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3 thoughts on “A Critically Modified, Very Poor Condition Stream

  1. Pingback: A Critically Modified, Very Poor Condition Stream | River Walks

  2. David Clulow

    Most commendable assignment from an awareness and data point of view. But what I would like to know in advance is the purpose. Are the causes to be investigated? Where does this effluent end up and with what consequences? What can be done to prevent this particular degradation of nature? What power on earth can be effective? Otherwise, why is it done?


  3. Meriel mitchell

    Very important recording of info being started by this group which can help them to argue for further support for a cleaner river for everyone in their community. Thank you N3TC.



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