Rivers show us who we really are

They show us how we’re connected to the earth and to each other


Our Values


Our vision is to restore the local rivers to what they once were: places where people collected clean water for washing, cooking and drinking; children played in the water, catching fish and crabs; older people sat on the banks and found peace and rest listening to the gentle sound of water.



River Rescue works to clean the rivers in the city of Makhanda/Grahamstown and to restore them as sources of clean water and recreation for ALL the residents of the city

Our aim is to restore the link between our rivers and our people

What we do

Our Programmes


Rivers are complex systems, and rivers that run through built-up areas are even more complex. To make a lasting difference we must change people’s hearts and minds and awaken them to their real attachment to the water on which everything depends. 


 Education through schools, clubs, churches, house-to-house surveys and presentations is the focus of our activities, together with the continuing hard work of cleaning the rivers two Saturdays a month.

WhO WE are

Our Story

The headwaters of the Bloukraans River – which runs into the sea at Port Alfred – rise in the bowl of the city. As they flow through the city, they accumulate the trash and sewage from the houses along the riverbanks.
For two years, volunteers from the full spectrum of residents – University students, local residents, city councillors, businesspeople and, most especially, children – have been regularly involved in the ‘housework’ of cleaning rubbish out of the watercourses. Changes have been small, but significant, and participants have learned a great deal as they’ve worked.
‘Pop-up’ schools have provided an opportunity to share knowledge about the rivers, the creatures that live in them, the plants that grow along the banks, and to begin to understand the connections rivers create between us all and the planet we call home.

Get Involved

Many hands make light work! Join us on one of our upcoming clean up days listed here.

Or sign up for our newsletter and we will let you know about our events in the future.

Let’s work together for plastic free rivers.

Upcoming Events


Where: Scott’s Farm
When: 9.00 
Boots, gloves, rakes and spades will be provided.
Bring hats, water, sunblock, your own gloves and boots if you have them, and all your muscle power! 


River Rescue Report

River Rescue Report

On May 18, 2024, Group B, along with all other members of the Honours Environmental Science Program, the 2021 and 2023 SRC Environmental Councillors, the Rhodes University Cheerleading team, the River Rescue (RR) team, the students of Diocesan School for Girls (DSG) and St Andrew’s College and the students from the Mary Waters school adjacent to the river had the opportunity to participate in another river rescue mission, under the guidance of Helen, the director of RR.