Water Crime

FOW News Letters 2008

FOW New Letter December/January

Hi all,

For those who did not see the TV shows on 50/50 concerning how this countries environment is being desecrated by government and municipalities
it might be a good idea for you to order copies from SABC.

I must say I admired the presenter of the programme who kept his cool under extremely difficult circumstances.

There is no way the usual excuse of no money can be used as reason for what is tantamount to ignorance.

It is quite simple. The money goes to people to run sewerage plants who do not even know how to run a bath. One of these days they will wonder why
nothing but raw sewerage comes out of the taps or why they keep on picking up many waterborne diseases.

Mineral and energy affairs are granting mining licences to coal mine on the banks of rivers in wetlands and all the places that can damage our precious
water resources beyond repair.

When you get a breakdown in communication you get confusion and this leads to confrontation. There is no positive communication between the departments
of Water Affairs, Mining and Energy or Environmental  departments.   They are all hell-bent on doing their own thing whatever that may be.

The only thing our politicos are doing is contributing to global warming with all the hot air ominously emanating from their mouths.  One positive aspect is that the comedians in the country do not have to write their own copy, the politicians do it for them.

The Beeld newspaper refused to cover the recent World Carp Championships.  Maybe the editor or is it the bean pushers who do not realise that a lot of
tip offs about pollution given to their reporters come from anglers. Or maybe the powers that be at the Beeld live in another world.

Hats off to Elise Tempelhoff and her articles on pollution. Maybe she should be promoted to editor.

This is not an advertorial.   I went up to a hunting camp called Chawalo on the banks of the Zambezi in Mozambique where the river enters Cahorra Bassa.
I did it the easy way and went with a very professional guiding operation called Flycastaway.   All the group including the ladies had great fun catching tigers on fly.
Fishing from boats one does not have to be a champion caster with shooting heads and what not. In fact the closer to the boat you hooked the tiger the
less chance that it would spit the fly straight back at you when it comes flying out of the water on its first jump.

Having a damaged casting hand I changed over the Chessa cutlets when my hand got too sore. I caught tigers but found the giant sized Vundu which is one
helluva fish to catch using and old centre-pin reel and a light rod.

In Mozambique the government allows hunting areas as concessions to manage as a way of controlling poaching and creating cost effective jobs.
What the anti hunting brigade should realise is that the hunters target male animals that have passed their breeding sell by date and stop the younger
bulls from increasing the amount of game in the herd.

I have fished Mozambique and Zimbabwe pretty extensively but thoroughly enjoyed having the whole trip and the fishing organised for me. My only complaints were the smooth tyres on the S.A. Airways plane we flew back on. Surely after being funded to the tune of 17 billion rands by the Government since 2003 they could buy some new tyres.  The in flight movie we were all stuck with was suitable for 9 month old babies.  I wish some one would tell SAA that this country went metric some time ago and to stop bombarding the captive audience on the plane with useless Voyager miles which in real terms can actually be measured in fractions of millimetres when one considers the worthless benefits you get in return for them.

Extract below taken with kind permission from the latest FOSAF Yellow Fish Working Group News Letter November Edition the full version can be found on www.fishingowl.co.za click onto the FOSAF logo to be found at the top of the homepage.

1.    It would appear that KZN is now replicating the pollution problems associated with the Vaal River. The main problem has occurred in Howick where there has been a major fish kill involving yellowfish and more hardy species like Catfish, Carp and Bass. We did some electro-fishing in the Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve and were unable to locate any fish in thirty minutes of electro-fishing. A previous survey in March this year produced an abundance of fish, too many to count. Sadly Umgeni Valley Nature Reserve (WESSA), prior to this event, was a prime destination for targeting KZN Yellowfish on fly tackle. The problem has made headline news in local newspapers including PMB's The Witness. Headlines included "Rivers of filth across KZN", "Sewage Crisis" followed by damage control articles like "Taking care of business- uMgungunddlovu District Municipality is finally paying attention to the sewage problem"
The main problem has occurred in the vicinity of the Howick's Siphumele/Thokoza low cost housing and squatter settlement, which has a sewage pumping station linked to the main Howick sewage treatment works. The pumping system conveys untreated sewage from the Mpophomeni Township to Howick for treatment.
Raw untreated sewage mixed with milk solid wastes from the nearby Fairfield Dairy has been allowed to flow freely into a local stream that flows through Siphumele Township directly into to the Umgeni River. Previously there were intermittent flows of sewage from this system but as time passed this developed into a flowing river of sewage that killed fish and other aquatic life including an otter. Erosion along the stream has suggested that this problem has been occurring for some time and that the authorities only responded once the fish had started dying. Downstream from the township the E.coli and total phosphate concentrations were dangerously high. The unionised ammonia concentration was well above the Target Water Quality Range (TWQR) suggesting that this was the primary cause of the fish dying. Only 0.025 mg/L is sufficient to kill trout. Unionised ammonia affects the respiratory systems of many organisms by inhibiting cellular metabolism or by decreasing the oxygen permeability of cell membranes.  
Similar problems are being experienced in some of the smaller local municipalities in KZN such as Mooi River, Richmond and Kokstad that in reality don't have the capacity, finance or expertise to deal with sewage systems adequately. There have been no reports yet of fish dying at these localities. Dave Still of DUCT (Duzu Umgeni Conservation Trust) said that the National Treasury gives municipalities grants equivalent to more than R60 per indigent family per month to help maintain sanitation services to the poor. He believes that the funds need to be appropriately utilized. He felt that local municipalities could learn from JHB where a R5 billion upgrade of the city's sanitation and water system is taking place. It may just be that the sight of thousands of dead fish rotting had something to do with the decision.

To all our surfers we wish you everything of the best and a safe Festive season.
Trevor and Sue Babich
Web - Duo

Fishing Owl Supporting WC reporting,
"Mum I don't feel well today, I can't get out of my nest "