On Monday 17 April an inspiration meeting was held in the Pletterij, Haarlem, as part of the Healthy Rivers initiative. The focus of the well-attended meeting was keeping waterways clean in sister cities Haarlem and Mutare.
Haarlem and the Zimbabwean city of Mutare have had a twinning relationship for more than 30 years. Both cities are located on rivers: Haarlem on the Spaarne and Mutare on the Sakubva. Residents of both Haarlem and Mutare are committed to cleaning and keeping their rivers clean.
Speakers were: Sander van Weert (de Pinguïn, also Moderator), Dik Bol, (City Link Haarlem-Mutare), Lynne James (MRRI, the Mutare Rivers Rehabilitation Initiative), Karen Blanken (SUPmission), Lavinia Warners (Bermbende Haarlem), Sjoerd Andela (urban ecologist Haarlem), Bernou Boven (Plastic Soup Foundation), Johan Remijn (Hoogheemraadschap Rijnland water authority), Marin van Wetering (The Great Bubble Barrier) and Eline Hoedemand (Melt Up).
On March 18 we participated in the National Cleaning Day, with many volunteers joining the IVN, canoe association de Trekvogels, Scouting group Kontiki, SUPmision Haarlem, de Pinguïn, City Link Haarlem-Mutare and de Bermbend in a communal clean-up of the river Spaarne. Together we collected 510 kilos of waste. On the same day a communal clean-up was held in Mutare, with about 80 volunteers joining the MRRI (Mutare Rivers Rehabilitation Initiative) and the Mutare municipality in collecting more than 3000 kilos of waste. The MRRI citizens group cleans the Sakubva every week, an initiative supported by City Link Haarlem-Mutare.
The inspiration evening was a continuation of activities in the clean rivers initiative – both in Haarlem and in Mutare. The next communal clean-up is planned for May 19.
The meeting of April 17 is available for viewing on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d57Jx7fAEqo