Volunteers adopt stretches of river to keep clean

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 24-11-2019 10:00:00 · 0 Comments

About 700 volunteers from Lousada have adopted dozens of stretches of the Sousa and Mesio rivers, carrying out regular actions of surveillance and cleaning of the water lines and the banks, the local council announced

The environment councillor of the Lousada town hall, Manuel Nunes, has told Lusa that so far about 50 stretches have already been adopted, but this number should continue to increase following publicity actions, which have already reached the parishes and the interest shown by citizens, of all ages, and also by companies.

"The municipality is a partner of the population, sharing responsibility with everyone, but without pointing the finger at anyone," explained Manuel Nunes, in statements to Lusa.

The councillor stressed that the actions have been carried out with "great success" in that municipality near Porto, under the project "Lousada Guarda Rios", which was launched about a year ago thinking about the "involvement of ordinary citizens".

In preparing the project, the town council defined 127 sections of the two rivers (the Mesio is an affluent of Sousa), each 250 metres long, which citizens can adopt.

The interested parties, added the councilman, fill out an adoption form and receive theoretical and practical training given by specialised technicians that has been held in various points of the county. So far, 30 actions have been promoted.

"This is a democratic project. Everyone can do it, because it is free and open to the whole community", he added.

People join through the municipality's website and the volunteers receive a set of equipment and a manual of good practices on action in the field from the council.

One of the tasks of the adherents is to carry out monthly patrols on the adopted stretches, in which the rivers and their banks are assessed, in different parameters, including pollution levels and fauna and flora, among others. The results are forwarded to the project management biologist's database.

"This is all quantified, because people need to know that the work has an associated value," she noted.

In these patrols, actions are often organized to clean up vegetation and garbage, and logistical support may be requested from the municipality, particularly for the forwarding of waste. So far, the councillor said, "6,200 litres of all kinds of waste have been collected.

The patrols have also given rise to 25 administrative infraction reports, since the irregularities detected by the volunteers are forwarded to the police authorities, who have also collaborated with the work in progress.


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