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GEOGRAPHY- GRADE 12 RESEARCH TASK

PROBLEM/ISSUE : FLOODING AND POLLUTION

Abstract

This research assignment focusses on an issue that took place in Durban North. It highlights the causes, effects and possible solutions that one can take to alleviate and prevent this issue from occurring in the future.

NAME: KIASHA CHETTY

GRADE:12B941000

GEOGRAPHY- GRADE 12 RESEARCH TASK

PROBLEM/ISSUE : FLOODING AND POLLUTION

Abstract

This research assignment focusses on an issue that took place in Durban North. It highlights the causes, effects and possible solutions that one can take to alleviate and prevent this issue from occurring in the future.

NAME: KIASHA CHETTY

GRADE:12B

Table of contents:

Step 1 – Article ……………………………………………. Page 1- 4 ………- Summary……………………………………. ……Page 5

Step 2- Causes of the Issue…………………………………Page 5-6

Step 3- Effects/Results of the Issue…………………………Page 7-8 ……..- Photographic evidence…………………………….Page 8-10

Step 4- Government Response to the Issue…………………Page 11

Step 5- Possible Solutions Future Actions…………………Page 12-13 ……..-Interview with NGO volunteer ……………. ………Durban Green Corridor………………………………………Page 14-15

Step 6- Bibliography………………………………………Page 16

News24 article- Durban beach buried in garbage after heavy rainfalls ………………………………………………………………Page 17-18

STEP 1- BRIEF SUMMARY OF ARTICLE

The article is about the poor status of the Umgeni river mouth/ Durban north beach after KZN experienced heavy rainfalls on the 11th of March.

The KZN floods not only resulted in the immense accumulation of plastic debris but it also led to property damages on the outskirts of Durban. Thankfully NGOs and community forces intercepted and cleaned up the beach before the debris wound up in the ocean.

STEP 2 – CAUSES OF THE PROBLEM OR ISSUE

Reasons for choosing this issue:

I have chosen to research this issue because it is very current and is a global phenomenon.

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As we move into the more industrialized era we find ourselves subjected to pollution no matter where we live. Pollution and climate change is a constant challenge that today’s generation faces and therefore it is beneficial for them to be informed of the necessary future actions that need to be taken.

This issue had caught my attention as I am a very interested in environmentalism. I have also chosen to base my research of this article because it is quite easy to obtain information.

Causes for this issue:

This article posed two problems that need to be addressed:

Firstly, the heavy rainfall and flash floods that KZN had experienced in the early days of March can be attributed to global warming. Warmer temperatures and increased moisture in the atmosphere lead to a high amount of precipitation. Due to the poor upkeep and planning from the government’s side much infrastructure and low-cost housing was washed away with the downpour. If there was adequate stormwater drainage in the north coast area, the flooding of informal settlements would not have occurred.

left96393000left2398395 SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1 picture depicting litter booms installed. Source www.uust.org.za

00 SEQ Figure * ARABIC 1 picture depicting litter booms installed. Source www.uust.org.za

Secondly, the accumulation of plastic debris at the beach was caused by the heavy rainfall. According to an article on News24 (attached at the end of the assignment), it was also due to the snapping of the litter booms that were installed at the mouth of the Umgeni river.

It can be argued that there shouldn’t have even been litter in the first place in the Umgeni river. A few causes of water pollution:

Urbanization – due to the increasing population more and more litter is being thrown out by human and often finds its way into water resources. The demand for cheaper and readily available material materials increases.

Reckless disposal methods- since the use of the materials is short lived and they are easy to dispose people have found it easier to get rid of it on the roadsides or aimlessly in landfills.

Illegal dumping- it is common for industries as well as residents to dump near water resources to escape the cost of regular waste disposal.

Slow rate of decomposition- for example plastic bottles can take up to 450 years to decompose. EPA also stated that “ every bit of plastic ever made still exists.” On this regard, it means that as long as new plastics are still continuing to be manufactured, they will persist to exist throughout the Earth.

STEP 3- EFFECTS AND RESULTS OF THE ISSUE

Environmental:

It changed the equilibrium of the river and reduced biodiversity and aquatic ecosystems.

33528001814195 SEQ Figure * ARABIC 2Picture depicting a seal consuming a plastic bottle Source www.bluchannel24web.wordpress.com

SEQ Figure * ARABIC 2Picture depicting a seal consuming a plastic bottle Source www.bluchannel24web.wordpress.com

335280010160000Blockages of plastic at the river mouth can form breeding grounds for mosquitoes and other vector parasites.

Many stray animals end up eating plastic bags and bottles which can lead to death.

Pollution affects the quality of water. The river mouth suffered from a loss of oxygen which in turn destroys the living organisms in the water.

Social:

Humans are thus harmed by the alteration in the food chain- less fish harvested.

Since plastic is made from highly toxic petrochemicals these chemicals can seep into the water and make humans more prone to contracting illnesses when drinking or using the contaminated water.

Unaesthetic appeal- less people will visit the beach if it a sight for sore eyes.

-1231901828165 SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3 Flooded informal settlements on the north coast of KZN Source: www.groundup.com

SEQ Figure * ARABIC 3 Flooded informal settlements on the north coast of KZN Source: www.groundup.com

-123722566Also, due to KZN heavy flooding many people have lost their homes, belongings etc. especially those who occupy informal settlements- this can be linked to the government’s poor service delivery and lack of provision of RDP housing.

Economic:

Anything that is harmful to the environment and to people will cost money to rectify. The government will have to invest more taxpayer’s money into beach and river cleanups.

326139429419432778701850390 SEQ Figure * ARABIC 4 Picture depicting empty fish nets Source: www.dreamstime.com

SEQ Figure * ARABIC 4 Picture depicting empty fish nets Source: www.dreamstime.com

Beaches lose their attractiveness once covered in plastic thus the tourism industry will decline.

Inflation will occur as food prices will increase if less sea and marine life are harvested.

The government has to now allocate more funds towards proper stormwater solutions and to rebuild infrastructure that was once destroyed by the heavy rains.

SEQ Figure * ARABIC 5 EVIDENCE – SOURCED FROM SFISO MNGOMA

SEQ Figure * ARABIC 6 IMAGES SUPPLIED BY WWW.WILDTRUST.CO.ZA PHOTOS DEPICTING THE BLUE LAGOON AREA COVRED BY PREDOMINANTLY PLASTIC BOTTLES

STEP 4- HOW DID THE GOVERNMENT/ COMMUNITY OR MUNICIPALITY RESPOND TO THE ISSUE?

In this particular incident non-governmental organisations and the community stepped up to take action in the organizing of a beach clean up after the heavy rainfall hit.

01688465 SEQ Figure * ARABIC 7 Picture depicting Wildlands staff members getting hands-on in beach clean ups Source: www.news24.com

SEQ Figure * ARABIC 7 Picture depicting Wildlands staff members getting hands-on in beach clean ups Source: www.news24.com

0411According to an article on News24- Durban beach buried in garbage after heavy rains- A team of the Wildlands staff took approximately 3- 5 days to clean up the accumulated trash. They then transported the plastic waste to a recycling plant. Durban Green Corridor, an organization that works closely with eThekwini municipality was quick to respond saying that they will repair the once installed litter booms on the umgeni river once the river flowed slow.

30480003375660 SEQ Figure * ARABIC 8 The trashtag challenge has gone viral on all social media including Facebook, Instagram and Reddit in the early weeks of March. Source www.globalnews.com

SEQ Figure * ARABIC 8 The trashtag challenge has gone viral on all social media including Facebook, Instagram and Reddit in the early weeks of March. Source www.globalnews.com

right5429250The proactive nature of Environmental Affairs and local stakeholders held discussions concerning plastic pollution and pushed forward the idea that plastic straws and earbuds would be banned from next year.

After this horrific incident, locals took to social media. They had come up with an idea -#trashtag challenge- motivating teenagers and people to clean up their communities. Thereafter they post before and after pictures on social media.

STEP 5- POSSIBLE GEOGRAPHICAL SOLUTIONS TO PREVENT THIS ISSUE

Communities can support bans such as bans on single use plastic bags, plastic straws, polystyrene containers and bottles. These items should be especially prevented from entering a beach vicinity.

286067543243500Put up posters and encourage students to partake in monthly river and beach cleanups. Through education and awareness, we can get this issue the recognition it deserves and inform people of the do’s and the don’ts. There should be more encouragement for people to go plastic-free and for the recycling of waste. A few simple ways to help people go plastic free:

right645160 SEQ Figure * ARABIC 9 South Africans should learn to adopt some creative ways such as this plastic pollution awareness tree to help bring to people’s attention the state our world is currently heading at. Source www.trendhunter.com

0 SEQ Figure * ARABIC 9 South Africans should learn to adopt some creative ways such as this plastic pollution awareness tree to help bring to people’s attention the state our world is currently heading at. Source www.trendhunter.com

Invest in a reusable straw, coffee cup and water bottle. Taking your own bags to the supermarket (if you don’t do so already), including reusable bags for fruit, veggies, nuts and bread.

Reduce and reuse. Instead of dumping old toys, donate them.

The same goes for your flip flops and other items of synthetic clothing. Even if they are worn through, chances are somebody can find a way to repurpose them

The government can impose penalties and fines should businesses/ factories / residents for illegal dumping into rivers and beaches. Frequent testing of the water quality should be implemented to prevent the disruption of the ecosystems.

-2349502799080 SEQ Figure * ARABIC 10 INDIA HAS ALREADY INTRODUCED THIS SYSTEM SOURCE INDIAMART.COM

SEQ Figure * ARABIC 10 INDIA HAS ALREADY INTRODUCED THIS SYSTEM SOURCE INDIAMART.COM

-23513112519The government can also install the Online Effluent Monitoring System to check the discharge of effluent directly into the rivers and water bodies. More durable litter booms should be installed at the river mouth.

Lastly on the topic of the KZN floods the government needs to have early warning signals in place to alert residents of heavy rainfall so they have time to evacuate. People need to place sandbags around their homes to prevent them washing away. The construction of houses and infrastructure should be limited in low–lying areas avoid the risk of floods.

Interview

I have conducted a telephonic interview with a volunteer from the NGO- Durban Green Corridor who was on the scene on the 11th of March and part of the beach cleanup crew. The transcript of the conversation is as follows:

Name: Keith Reddy Age: 23

Hi Keith. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I am currently conducting an assignment about water pollution and wanted to get your weigh in on the scene on Blue Lagoon and the Umgeni river on the 11th of March.

It’s my pleasure. Well the state of the river mouth and beach was a first for my eyes. In some parts you couldn’t even see the sand anymore, just a thick blanket of plastic bottles. The people who think lightly of pollution and its consequences should have been present on that day.

I can only imagine. Approximately how much waste was there and how long did the volunteers take to clean it?

Approximately 60 cubic metres. It took about a week’s worth of man hours to fully restore the area.

What inspired you to get involved?

I was always passionate about wildlife and the environment from an early age. Now that I have graduated I felt the need to volunteer to enhance my skill set. Durban green corridor seemed to suit my needs perfectly.

In your opinion, what do you think was the cause of the massive plastic dump at the beach?

Well of course KZN’s heavy rainfalls triggered it but where did the plastic originally come from? People! They have absolute disregard to conserving the earth.

What should be implemented, in your opinion, to reduce the amount of litter at beaches and rivers?

Well part of my job is to help create awareness especially among schools. We give talks in school assemblies, etc. I also think the government needs to up the ante in terms of policies and fines. More supervision at beaches by policemen. And lastly the banning of plastic bags. If we can do it with straws, then we can slowly shift to a plastic free society.

And lastly, what advice would you give to someone starting to volunteer for an environmental organization?

I would highly recommend that you really get stuck in to your chosen role. It might be a clich?, but the more you put into it the more you get out of it. If you are at all interested in working in the sector I would say that you should fully immerse yourself in all the volunteering opportunities available, covering a variety of aspects of the organization’s work and a variety of sites. In doing this you will see what you enjoy best, and the potential to learn is incredible.

Thank you again. Keep up the good work!

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

ARTICLES

Daniel, L. (2019). KZN floods: Blanket of plastic pollutes Durban beachfront. Retrieved 23 March 2019, from H. (2019). Watch-Durban-beach-buried-in-garbage-after-heavy-rains. Retrieved 22 March 2019, from – STEP 2

Carnie, T. (2013). Umgeni River ‘one of dirtiest’ in SA. Retrieved 22 March 2019, from Retrieved 22 March 2019, from – STEP 3

Gaikwad, A. (2019). Plastic pollution. Retrieved 22 March 2019, from M. Pillay, V. Chandrabhaon, S. (2015). Excel in geography. (pp. 80-81).

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS – STEP 5

Hutchinson, B. (2017). 7 Ways to Reduce Ocean Plastic Pollution Today. Retrieved 22 March 2019, from A. (2019). Drowning in plastic: Shocking pollution levels and how you can help. Retrieved 23 March 2019, from M. Pillay, V. Chandrabhaon, S. (2015). Excel in geography. (pp.81)

Cite this page

geography grade 12 term 2. (2019, Nov 15). Retrieved from http://paperap.com/geography-grade-12-term-2-best-essay/

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