Waters & words

Your Kavango

On Sunday it was roast beef and veg in Notties, and as the storm passed, and cool mist and drizzle set in, beers at the Notties pub amidst talk of Trout. Tuesday I was in the city: Lusaka. As I write I am looking out over the Kavango at hot sticky Angola, and with a bit of luck, I won’t miss my flight to Cape Town on Saturday. 

Stop the word, I want to get off.

But we can’t get off. We need to look after it instead. Here in Northern Namibia their issues are food for thought. Flying in this morning, I was struck by how clean the water is in the Kavango. It is in stark contrast to the fertiliser polluted Orange river further south, which looks like pea soup when you see if from the air. Apparently that is due to all the fertiliser leaching back into the river from agricultural projects along the river.

If that happened on the Kavango, I guess pea soup would enter the Okavango delta!

 

Significant pause

 

That won’t happen will it?

Well, consider this. Namibia, like most of Southern Arica, is in the grip of a drought at the moment. The last maize crop failed. Completely. (Well, their dryland maize failed completely, not their irrigated maize). People are hungry. They are buying maize in from Zambia at present. Zambia is also in a drought. I don’t think they will sell all their maize.

Flying along the rivers of the caprivi strip, I was struck by how development seems to be mushrooming along the rivers.

DSC_0394

This would not have been possible years ago, because of the war. But as we landed in Rundu, the old South African army base lay in ruins and the people of Rundu were setting about the business of fulfilling their role as the custodians of the bread basket of dry Namibia. A bread basket that can only stay that way if they irrigate. Like they do on the Orange river.

Pea soup.

Significant pause.

The Okavango.

 

I haven’t researched this at all, I am just sitting here looking out over the Kavango joining some dots.

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And we can’t stop the word, and we can’t get off.

What on earth does this have to do with Trout ?  (Everything on Truttablog has SOMETHING to do with Trout!)

Well I just figure that if you stress about every environmental problem in the world, you will probably just get stressed, maybe even depressed, certainly disheartened.

“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds” Aldo Leopold

I received a call that interrupted my writing a moment ago. It was from a landowner, who, it turns out, shares my deep concern for the Upper Umgeni (Read “Trout”!). We spoke about what each of us could do about the problems in that catchment. I was encouraged by his enthusiasm. I am going to return with renewed commitment to do something about my “Kavango”. That is all I can do. I will leave the other Kavango to the guys who drink from that river. I hope they are committed and concerned and energised to do something.

What is your Kavango?

What are you doing to look after your little patch of the planet?  Please be encouraged and energised and committed. At the risk of sounding corny, “the planet needs you”.

I know, I have become a bunny hugger. It is hard not to.

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