A non-profit organisation 'Help Up' in Cape Town has come with an initiative of cleaning up the Black River Raapenberg channel.
So far, Help Up has cleared 4,000 bags of garbage that would have ended up in the ocean.
The organisation uses volunteers and employs homeless and formally unemployed people to help clean up.
Speaking to Refilwe Moloto, Help Up founder Georgia McTaggart says extreme frustration prompted her to start the organisation.
We are looking beyond money, we are looking at how we can connect communities and how we can find opportunities for people to engage in the environment.— Georgia McTaggart, Founder - Help Up
McTaggart says they have found that the spills are coming from something called 'night soil'.
This is interestingly connected to the culture of crime. At night people in informal settlements lock their doors for safety reasons and they use the bucket system inside their homes as they can't walk to the toilets and in the morning they toss that out and it lands in the river.— Georgia McTaggart, Founder - Help Up
We've got fear, issues of infrastructure, bullies, violence and crime that are preventing people from feeling safe enough to walk to the privy.— Georgia McTaggart, Founder - Help Up
She says they have also seen construction waste dumped in places where it ends up blocking sewage systems.
We have seen piles of wet cement that have been dumped and it blocked the stormwater drains.— Georgia McTaggart, Founder - Help Up
Listen to the full interview below...
This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Thousands of bags of garbage cleared from Black River