JOHANNESBURG– Aquatic specialists estimate that 90 per cent of aquatic life in some stretches of the Vaal River, Soouth Africa’s third longest river at more than 1,100 kilometres, has been eliminated because of pollution.
Scientists have presented shocking research to the Human Rights Commission at an inquiry into the state of the Vaal River.
Aquatic specialists Russel Tate and Simone Liefferink told the commission Thursday that by their estimates, thousands of fish have been killed in the Vaal Rivier after what they deem an acute toxic incident in June this year.
They believe the deaths are linked to high levels of un-ionised ammonia in the water, coupled with low levels of oxygen.
Both of these readings, they said, are indicative of a large-scale sewerage spill. They conducted research at various points along the river and say only after around 61 kilometres from the Vaal Barrage was an improvement in water quality noticeable.
The Federation of Sustainable Environment earlier told the Commission that they are aware of between 10,000 and 12,000 sewerage spills a year along the river, despite the 350-million-Rand (about 25 million USD) allocation given to local municipalities by the Department of Water and Sanitation for maintenance and operational costs.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK