Africa-Press – South-Africa. The City of Cape Town’s water and sanitation department will fork out R13 billion over the next 10 years as it kickstarts its river clean-up programme.
Earlier this week, the City and the City of Paris in France conducted a bilateral virtual meeting to discuss this, following Paris’ recent completion of its river-clean programme.
The meeting was facilitated by the Leading Utilities of the World, a global knowledge exchange forum for local governments, of which the City of Cape Town is a member, according to mayco member for water quality in wetlands and waterways, Alex Lansdowne.
The topic was “Swimming in the Seine River, possible lessons for Cape Town”, and the aim was to educate and exchange knowledge between the City of Paris, the City of Cape Town, and water academics/specialists on water sanitation.
The Seine River, which runs through Paris, experienced hundreds of years of heavy pollution from sewage ingress, dumping and industrial waste.
According to Lansdowne, the Seine River underwent an extreme clean-up as part of the City of Paris’ preparations for the 2024 Olympics, so that Parisians can swim safely in it.
Commenting on why the City was starting the programme now, Lansdowne said:
“My goal [for the meeting] was that we would be able to learn about roadblocks and unexpected challenges they have experienced in the last few years,” he added.
And it seems the goal was accomplished because many of the City’s water specialists and engineers were able to connect on a “technical level” when comparing Cape Town and Paris’ water sanitation problems, he said.
Lansdowne said although Cape Town differs greatly from Paris socio-economically and has 22 river basins, there are similarities in the challenges both cities face in terms of water management.
Some of these problems include wastewater discharge directly into rivers, the quality of water released from treatment plants, illegal connections and waste in stormwater.
The City said it was on the right track to achieve its water sanitation goals.
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