Estuary finally gets officials’ attention
The Buffalo City Municipality Metro will finally adopt the Nahoon Estuary Management Plan into the City’s Integrated Development Plan for 2019/2020 in November this year, according to Christo Theart, chairperson of the Nahoon Estuary Management Forum.
The announcement was made during a Forum meeting that the Eastern Cape Rising Sun attended on Thursday night. The plan was drafted as a way to save the Estuary following a spate of species invasion and daily sewage spills into the Nahoon and Buffalo River. Approved in 2016 by the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism in the Eastern Cape, the plan contains a range of actions that require urgent attention.
Nahoon residents, concerned by deteriorating standard of the Estuary due to what they termed ‘negligence’ from the Municipality, have finally been heard after seven years of reaching out.
In a commendable turn of events, the Forum managed to meet with the municipality and the Department of Water and Sanitation last week to discuss the plan, which has detailed action plans to prevent consequences such as beach closures and sickness by fishermen and water sport enthusiasts. “Representatives from the Department of Water and Sanitation joined us on a boat ride to see the sewage spills hot spots. They took water samples and they will revert back to us about the condition of the water and what their plan will be,” reported Theart.
Adding to the good news, there will also be a Coastal Management Committee which will look at issues faced by both the Nahoon Estuary and Buffalo River as promised by Samkelo Ngwenya, spokesperson for BCM in our previous article.
The Metro is aware of the spillages into the Nahoon Estuary due to illegal electricity connections by the informal settlements around two pump stations. With R700 million budgeted for the legal installation of electricity in these areas, this problem is expected to be a thing of the past.
The Estuary is a unique biodiversity that needs protection with 202 bird species and 24 fish species. Poor water quality compromises their livelihood.