As of 30 November, there is currently 500 ha (27% cover) of water hyacinth on the Hartbeespoort Dam, the Centre for Biological Control (CBC) at Rhodes University said this week.
“As we enter the holiday season, we’re hoping more people will recognise the need for sustainable control of water hyacinth, especially as it is a tourist hotspot. The CBC is still operating with no financial support from the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DFFE) and we ask community members, businesses and estates to support our crowdfunding campaign. The hyacinth has taken over from Salvinia which is still lurking amongst the hyacinth. The Megamelus populations are building up, but we need to release tens of thousands more to keep the plant in check. We can’t do this without funding.”
“We have reached ‘donor fatigue’ with our Thundafund campaign! If you haven’t donated already, and would like to see Megamelus do its job, please contribute to our campaign. The money raised so far has allowed us to employ 2 of our team for another 3 months.
We are so grateful to the community for allowing this to happen, and hope to be able to raise more money that will contribute to our implementation programme at the Hartbeespoort Dam.”
The CBC was promised funding by the department that was supposed to be released in April, but nothing happened. Residents, businesses and estates that want to contribute to get the dam clean again, can visit https://thundafund.com/project/6716626611215230.