Communities join scientist to clean up filthy Joburg river

The project aims to restore the polluted river in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg by 2023

By Chris Gilili

2 September 2022

Residents of Kliptown and Eldorado Park pull up their sleeves to clear the badly polluted river in Extension 9. Photos: Chris Gilili

“This used to be a park where people came to relax and enjoy music. But now the river has become a rubbish dump,” says Kliptown resident Caleb Woodworth.

He joined a group of residents who cleaned the river in Extension 9 in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg, over the weekend. It was part of a project called ‘Greening our Jungle’ which was co-founded in 2018 by Dr Lee-Ann Sade Modley, an environmental scientist and senior lecturer at the University of Johannesburg.

Modley told GroundUp that the project had been started with the non-profit EnvironMentorz, which runs a summer school for primary school children. The team has since grown to include more residents from Kliptown and Extension 9.

Participants say they hope that by the end of 2023, there will have been significant progress. “This is a long-term project to promote sustainability and ultimately create a clean park and river,” said Modley.

She said funding was still a challenge, and donations of equipment for the volunteers, such as rakes, plastic bags, and netting, would be welcome.

Some of the people who volunteered to clean the park littered with plastics and other rubbish over the weekend.