Participants of the 2015 N3TC Drak Challenge can look forward to a Wattle-free journey on January 24 and 25.
The beauty of the mighty Mzimkhulu River and surrounds has made the challenge a popular choice for paddlers. Yet Wattle, which spreads quickly, can become a major threat should fallen trees litter the river.
This year, the alien invader has again been removed from the river’s bank, thanks to Chairman of the N3TC Drak Challenge’s organising committee, Barry Cole and his team of helpers.
The clearing of Wattle in Underberg in anticipation of the challenge is an ongoing process.
“Before last year’s Drak we tackled the section below Black Murray Rapid and this time around we’ve hit the section above Black Murray all the way up to Castleburn,” says Cole.
The spread of Wattle in the area has decreased as a result of regular monitoring and maintenance funded by the challenge.
“It has become a lot easier nowadays due to the assistance of the Drak Challenge because we’ve been able to regularly attack the big sections and keep them under control,” says Cole.
Besides a tree block at the Mineshaft Weir, this year’s cleanup has yet to yield any serious obstacles, a great relief to the challenge’s organisers.
However, a continued effort remains necessary to keep the problem under control.
“There is still a lot of clearing up that needs to be done. There is still a large section that needs to be attended to around Callaway and few other sections as well,” says Cole.
He urges paddlers entering this year’s Drak Challenge to make a small contribution to maintaining the project’s effort against Wattle in the area.
Visit 2015 N3TC Drak Challenge for event information.