AfriForum in the Northern Cape has threatened to take legal steps if Sol Plaatje Municipality does not urgently tackle the problem of “contaminated” water at Kamfers Dam.
AFRIFORUM in the Northern Cape has threatened to take legal steps if Sol Plaatje Municipality does not urgently tackle the problem of “contaminated” water at Kamfers Dam, outside of Kimberley.
The civil rights organisation raised the alarm bell when it informed the local municipality of the results of tests conducted on the dam water by a private accredited laboratory, PathCare.
AfriForum stated that the results revealed high levels of coliform bacteria in the Kamfers Dam water, which is home to at least 60 different species of water birds and an important breeding site for the vulnerable greater and lesser flamingo.
It noted that the water in the dam poses a “worrying health risk for humans and animals”.
According to the AfriForum district co-ordinator for the Northern Cape, Werner Strauss, the tests form part of the organisation’s Blue and Green Drop water tests, undertaken on a national level during August.
Strauss explained that the “terrible stench that hangs in the air at Kamfers Dam” aroused their suspicions that the dam might be contaminated with raw sewage.
“PathCare’s test results confirmed my suspicions. Extremely high levels of coliform bacteria have been reported in the water and it is as if a million people’s sewage is flowing straight into the dam,” said Strauss.
“It is especially tragic because sewage flows freely into a breeding place and water source for flamingos, ducks, geese and various other birds and animal species in and around the dam. Cattle and sheep also graze next to this dam and drink from the contaminated water,” said Strauss.
He added that the findings of AfriForum’s Blue and Green Drop water tests will be released later this year.
Sol Plaatje Municipality does not see any non-compliance issues and said that it continues to monitor the water at Kamfers Dam..
According to the municipality, Kamfers Dam provides a favourable environment that has attracted the flamingos.
Municipal spokesperson Thoko Riet explained that Kamfers Dam is a perennial pan with water that is high in salts and nutrients, which results in an environment that is favourable for the growth of algae.
“The municipality has environmental and WULA approvals and is in compliance with the conditions of the licences. Moreover, the municipality is monitoring the quality of the water of Kamfers Dam, which is meeting the requirement,” said Riet.