2017 FNB Dusi Canoe
FNB Dusi continues its battle with hyacinth invasion
Pietermaritzburg – As the 2017 edition of the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon draws
near, organisers and environmentalists are in the process of clearing as
much of the invasive hyacinth as possible before the three-day race gets
underway at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg on 16 February.
The race organisers, the Dusi Umgeni Conservation Trust (DUCT) and all of
their partners have got their work cut out for them as improved water flow
and soaring temperatures have led to a dramatic expansion of the
Hyacinth and water lettuce is incredibly mobile which adds to the issue of
containment and DUCT’s service provider Bart Fokkens has got teams along the
entire FNB Dusi route managing the situation with the race in the not too
“It has been tough for us this year because when we took our break over
December the hyacinth really bloomed,” Fokkens commented.
“Our teams are working hard at bringing the hyacinth under control but
without a helicopter this year it has been difficult to kill large patches.
“We have been getting help from Umgeni Water and the Department of Water
Affairs along the way which has made it easier to contain however we are
going to have to do a lot more work in the build-up to Dusi!”
It has been suggested that the best solution to dealing with the hyacinth
problem is a collaborative one, and if paddlers tripping the rivers ahead of
the FNB Dusi see any new hyacinth infestations they should get in touch with
DUCT of Fokkens.
Organisers and DUCT realise that hyacinth is going to be a major problem
come the FNB Dusi, and with all hands on deck in the build up to the race
winning the war is going to be a difficult task with another fresh blockage
below Inanda Dam to worry about.
“We have never had to worry about this area in the past but we have a
blockage at Little John below the Inanda Dam wall but there is a new section
of hyacinth there.
“I believe that this blockage was caused by the floods that we had towards
the middle of last year which washed the plant into that area.
“With that being said we are not too worried about it because it will get
flushed out as it is not too big and we have staff there spraying it.
“A positive is that when the hyacinth is sprayed it does not grow further so
we know that the bits we have sprayed cannot spread.
“The downside of that is that when it dies it gets flushed down river and
can cause another block further down the river.
“Our issue is the stretch of river from the Confluence all the way to the
dam, we are going to have to spray as much as we can and then I am going to
have to go in and reassess what we have done, it’s a big job,” Fokkens
With such a large section of water to cover Fokkens’ teams will have their
work cut out going into the next three weeks as they try and destroy as much
of the hyacinth as possible.
“There are teams along the whole Dusi route, with three teams from Marianni
and Foley all the way to the finish as well as teams from the Confluence to
Dusi Bridge and Umgeni Water teams clearing water lettuce further up river,”
information can be found at www.dusi.co.za
Click to download the hi-res
FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon logo (Landscape) - GIF
FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon logo
(Portrait) - GIF
Legendary FNB Dusi paddler
Andre Hawarden (pictured) recently assisted the Duzi Umgeni Conservation
Trust (DUCT) in removing some of the water hyacinth that has collected at
the Gauging Weir on the uMngeni River ahead of the 2017 FNB Dusi Canoe
Marathon from 16-18 February.
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