Mission: Identify Wetland Habitats Suitable for Rehabilitation
Date: 19 June 2008
Requesting organisation: Working for Wetlands
Location: Ezemvelo Area, Eastern Gauteng
Pilot: Wouter van Ginkel
This photo shows wetland habitat associated with the upper reaches of the Honde River, with a few erosion problems.
Bateleurs pilot Wouter van Ginkel volunteered for the mission to survey wetland habitat in the Ezemvelo area, in eastern Gauteng. The Working for Wetlands Team comprised Co-ordinator Retief Grobler, accompanied by Thomani Manungufula. Here are some extracts from the report by Retief:
“The focus of the assessment was to identify wetland habitats suitable for rehabilitation in Gauteng that are primarily associated with drainage lnes forming part of the Upper Olifants River Catchment (Wilge River Catchment in Gauteng).
In general, surveyed drainage lines flowed in two different directions: the larger area drained eastward along the Wilge River System into Loskop Dam . . . while the remaining area drained northwards along the Elands River System into Rust de Winter dam. Both the Wilge and Elands rivers are part of the Olifants River Catchment.
The surveyed Gauteng portion of the Wilge River catchment is currently unaffected by coal miing and is largely intact, with the main land use being related to agricultural practices. Wetlands in this area therefore considered as important sources of good quality water to the Olifants River, which helps to partially dilute some of the existing pollution. Opportunities were therefore sought to protect (secure) existing wetland habitat by stabilising erosion features, while improvements in the provision of wetland ecosystems services, via rewetting of desiccated areas, were also targeted. Tributaries of the Wilge River that were investigated from the air included the Osspruit, Honde River, and several unnamed ddainage lines. …
The survey was considered a success despite the hazy conditions typical of the Highveld during winter. The Working for Wetlands tean expressed their gratitude for the flight and confirmed that they had accomplished what they set out to do. A big thank you to The Bateleurs for affording us the opportunity to fly for a good cause!”