Kamfers Dam: Northgate development gets green light

Posted by Laura Grant on November 11, 2008
Posted in Conservation

The Northern Cape department of tourism, environment and conservation has given the go-ahead for the Northgate commercial and housing development to be built near Kimberley’s Kamfers Dam lesser flamingo breeding site, Volksblad reports.

The record of decision includes conditions that take the protection of the flamingos and issues with the Homevale sewerage works into account. Raw sewerage has reportedly been leaking from the sewerage treatment works into the dam and has been a major source of concern for the flamingo conservationists.

The RoD states that construction cannot start until “the alternative sewage system (which will be used) is approved in compliance with all applicable laws, constructed and operational AND/OR the upgrade on the existing Homevale sewerage treatment works, which will improve the capacity to the extent that it can accommodate additional effluent, is completed”.

Measures to protect the flamingo include:

  • a solid wall with no open gaps or windows must be built with the mininmum height of 2 metres prior to any further construction.
  • The wall must be electrified with at least three strands of electric wire
  • The development footprint must be completely walled in with controlled access gates
  • 24-hour security monitoring including a camera covering the island is recommended

These measures are aimed at minimising human movement to the dam and preventing disturbance of the flamingos by residents.

The RoD was issued on November 7. Interested and affected parties have 30 days to appeal.

The Kamfers Dam site is one of only six lesser flamingo breeding sites in the world and the only one in South Africa. News on the Save the Flamingo campaign Facebook site is that the second breeding season has begun. The first egg was spotted on October 23 and there are high hopes that this season will be as successful as the first one. In May, 9,000 chicks were counted at the end of the first breeding season on the dam.

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