The petition is now closed. Thank you to everyone who signed the petition; it has assisted our efforts to resolve the problems at Kamfers Dam. In particular, it helped us convince the local, provincial and national authorities that many people care about Kamfers Dam's flamingos. As a result of this persuasion, the Sol Plaatje Municipality is now repairing the Homevale Waste Water Treatment Works.
There are 7842 confirmed signatures for the Save the Flamingo petition... and 460 unconfirmed signatures.
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Dear P. Lenyibi, Executive Mayor, Sol Plaatje Municipality;
A. Florence, Executive Mayor, Frances Baard District Municipality;
P. Saaiman, MEC: Department of Tourism, Environment and Conservation
D. Peters, the Honourable Premier, Northern Cape;
L. Hendricks, Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry;
M. van Schalkwyk, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
Kamfers Dam, on the northern edge of Kimberley, is the only breeding site of Lesser Flamingos in South Africa, the fourth in Africa and sixth in the world. The three other breeding sites in Africa are threatened by various factors, including soda ash mining, reduced inflow from catchment areas and disturbance by humans. The most serious and rapidly escalating threat to Kamfers Dam's flamingos is the deterioration of water quality as a result of untreated sewage flowing into Kamfers Dam from the Homevale Sewerage Works, the larger of only two failing and mismanaged sewage works in Kimberley.
An estimated 5% of the 9000 flamingo chicks from the first breeding season on the Kamfers Dam flamingo island are showing signs of seriously malformed joints and lesions, suspected to be as a result of deteriorating water quality. This is presently under scientific investigation.
Periodic algal blooms at Kamfers Dam, as a result of high levels of dissolved nutrients in the water, lead to hydrogen sulphide emissions when they rot, causing an unbearable stench. These emissions are a nuisance factor to neighbouring communities and businesses.
Poor water quality could eventually lead to water-borne diseases that could be a risk to human health.
Uncontrolled excess water quantity will have the effect of flooding the well established flamingo breeding island, as well as flooding the foundations of Kimberley's major railway lines and thus disrupting rail traffic.
Other threats include proposed developments that are not appropriate for the internationally-important Kamfers Dam wetland area. Storm water runoff and sewage from these will add to the pollution of Kamfers Dam, and through disturbance and other factors could possibly cause the flamingos to stop breeding or desert the dam.
We urgently request that the Sol Plaatje Municipality, which is legally responsible for managing Kimberley's infrastructure and services as well as ecologically justifiable and sustainable urban development, take urgent action now to remove the threats to Kamfers Dam's Lesser Flamingos. These flamingos could be considered to be an indicator of the health of Kimberley's environment. If the flamingos are ill, what other aspects of our environment are being negatively affected?
It is the people of Kimberley's constitutional right to a healthy environment that is not polluted or degraded.
Provincial and national environmental legislation which protects Lesser Flamingos is currently being violated.
We want Kamfers Dam's flamingos to be there forever so that they can be enjoyed by our many visitors, our children and all future generations.
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