50 Years of Umko 1966 - 2016 1966 - 2016 - Page 105

1. The aim The aim of the Trust is to provide a forum for co-ordinating the conservation and/or development of the Umkomaas River and its catchment area. 2. Objectives 1. To provide a forum for co-ordinating the activities of all persons and bodies having an interest in the conservation and development of the Umkomaas River and its catchment area; 2. To bring about the preparation of a plan to guide the management of conservation and development of the Umkomaas River catchment area; 3. To communicate the importance of the Umkomaas River’s diverse and interrelated resources to both inhabitants and visitors and to any other persons; 4. To monitor the conservation and the development in, and use of, the Umkomaas River and its catchment; 5. To request, whenever this step is deemed necessary by the Trustees, the submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment or Integrated Environmental Management Study for any development project proposed within the area of the Trust’s interest. A salient feature of the Trust is its divisions into Categories of special interest from which working groups will be formed. Each Category is able to appoint from its ranks a Trustee to serve for the ensuing year. The following Categories were decided on, and trustees were appointed: Category A: Agriculture & Forestry; Category B: Tourism Development & Commerce; Category C: Industry & Urbanisation; Category D: Rural Natal & Kwazulu; Category E: Recreation & Conservation; Category F: Educational Institutions; Category G: Water Supply; Category H: Canoeists; Category l: Open Mr CJJ de Rauville (Jacques), an attorney and a member of Kingfisher Canoe Club was elected the First Chairman of the Board of Trustees But there are better alternatives, and we as paddlers and river-lovers must ins ist on doing the right thing! Before we even think of damming the Umko we need to ensure we first spend decent money and genuine effort on: • Fixing problems with existing dams; • Fixing leaking pipelines, reducing the enormous wastage, educating all citizens on non-destructive catchment area management, efficient water usage and essential recycling of existing water; • Setting standards for municipalities, mines and agri-business to abide by, and targets they need to reach in the better use of existing water resources; • Assessing all available options for meeting water (and energy) needs before proceeding with a dam project; In short: We need to regard water and rivers and ecosystems as precious, not as once-off expendables. So paddlers have joined up with other stakeholders before to fight to keep the Umko running free. We need The Problem with Dams is not well-enough known: In its final report in 2000, the World Commission on Dams (chaired by South to keep that spirit alive. Africa’s water minister Kader Asmal and consisting of twelve members from And what have we done since? We have raced, tripped and enjoyed the Umko and slept in its beautiful valley. But what have to we done to preserve it since Jacques de Rauville showed us the way? We need to understand the wonder of what we have, the very real importance of preserving it, the fallacy of the quick fix and the problem with big dams. In September 2015 the Sunday Tribune revealed how a dam near Deepdale has already quietly been started: The Smithfield Dam, capacity 140 million m³ (for comparison, Inanda dam has a capacity of 240 million m³). A much bigger dam is planned for “phase 2” - the Impendle Dam: up to 830 million m³ capacity. With these two dams Water Affairs aims to take off over 350 million m³ of Umko water annually and pump it by way of tunnels and pipes to PMB and Durban. 105 governments, industry, academia, and civil society worldwide) described a sensible approach to better evaluate different options for meeting water and energy needs. Put simply, it recommends using a comprehensive, participatory process to first evaluate needs for water, food and energy; followed by a similarly open public process to assess the full range of options for meeting those needs. “In this assessment process, social and environmental aspects have the same significance as economic and financial factors,” the WCD report states. It recommends that the first priority should almost always be to make existing systems more effective and sustainable. During its two-year lifetime, the WCD carried out the most comprehensive evaluation of large dams ever done to date. It commissioned 130 technical papers, studied seven dams and three dam-building countries in great depth, reviewed another 125 dams in less detail, carried out consultations in different parts of the world with 1,400 participants, and accepted 950 submissions from experts and the interested public. Altogether, the WCD reviewed experiences from 1,000 dams in 79 countries. President Nelson Mandela at the launch of the Final Report of the World Commission on Dams: “. . upon reading this Report I know exactly what is at stake, why it speaks so deeply to me, and how it can help all of us resolve potentially explosive tensions together. For it involves the careful use of our UMKO 50 Years