Objective of the flight:
To give members of the Mpophomeni Enviro Club a look at how Mpophomeni fits into the landscape of the Midlands and in particular where other wetlands and rivers are situated. The Enviro Club focusses many of their activities on wetlands which surround Mpophomeni.
Report from the beneficiary:
A Bird’s Eye View
After many months of anticipation, Asanda Ngubane and Bulelani Ngobese, longstanding members of the Mpophomeni Enviro Club, woke early in preparation for their flight to get a bird’s eye view of the township, healthy wetlands and local rivers.
Asanda, a Grade 9 learner at Mpophomeni High loves science and is more of a thinker than a talker. In the motivation Midlands Conservancies Forum (MCF) prepared for The Bateleurs to secure this flight he said: “The world is facing eco-problems, but if I can do something then the planet Earth will be the best place to live. Let us be the 21st Century that will be the ‘history for future life’ – we have to achieve that”. Bulelani wrote: “It has been ten years since I started learning about the environment which surrounds us and the effect it has on our lives. Today nothing has changed my mind about my love for the environment and I have decided to be an environmental lawyer. Yes, we don’t have a beautiful and healthy wetland in Mpophomeni but we are trying to take care of what we have.” MCF invited activist Penny Rees of DUCT, to join the boys to point out healthy wetlands and the rivers vital to our water catchment.
The flight path took them over Mpophomeni, Midmar, Inhlosane, Impendle, uMngeni Vlei, Lion’s River, Howick Falls, Karkloof, the confluence of the Mngeni and Msunduzi rivers and to Nagel dam.
Bulelani was thrilled by the adventure: “Today I saw things in a much bigger picture and realised that things are not as we see them here on the ground. The best thing was that we saw healthy wetlands which are not damaged in any way by human activities and which can support wildlife like uMngeni Vlei.”
Asanda was just as enthralled: “When you are in the air the places look like a puzzle. Penny told us that the Mngeni River feeds lots of people with water and showed us the difference between healthy and unhealthy rivers. The most amazing thing which got my attention was that there is a Table Mountain which is not in Cape Town. All of this was breath taking. It made me realise that we must protect our environment.”
Penny concluded: “We had the privilege to feel like birds in the tiny plane courtesy of The Bateleurs. Following the Mngeni River to the source put everything into perspective as we passed stretches of the river that I recognised from our walk last year. Thank you to The Bateleurs for donating this flight, and Craig Wing our pilot for an awesome time soaring with the eagles.”