Conservationists to appeal decision to build near flamingo dam

Posted by Laura Grant on November 17, 2008
Posted in Conservation

Photo: Flock of lesser flamingo on Kamfers Dam, Kimberley. © Save the Flamingo campaign

The Save the Flamingo campaign and BirdLife South Africa have indicated that they will appeal the decision to allow a massive housing and commercial development to be built next to Kimberley’s Kamfers Dam, South Africa’s only lesser flamingo breeding site, Eleanor Momberg of the Sunday Independent reports.

The Northern Cape department of tourism, environment and conservation gave the Northgate development the go-ahead in a record of decision issued on November 7.

If the appeals are unsuccessful the Save the Flamingo campaign will consider taking legal action to stop the development, Momberg reports.

The Save the Flamingo campaign has been trying to raise money and collect signatures on a petition to urge the authorities to take action to save the flamingos. Not only from the proposed development, but more urgently, to do something about the deteriorating water quality in the dam as a result of the inability of the Homevale sewerage treatment works to process Kimberley’s sewerage. Raw effluent has reportedly been pouring into the dam and surrounding wetlands and affecting the health of the flamingos.

Meanwhile, on the matter of the three officials suspended by the department apparently for their involvement in trying to protect the flamingo breeding site: a department spokesman told Momberg that Eric Hermann of scientific services had been reinstated to his post. The disciplinary hearing of Julius Koen, the deputy director of conservation, has been scheduled for later this month. And world-renowned ornithologist Mark Anderson’s hearing is expected to be held in March 2009. Anderson took up the post of executive director of BirdLife SA in October.

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