WHAT IS THE CAMPAL CREEK?
There are probably just a few individuals who may be aware that in the heart of the city of Panaji there is a water canal connecting Campal & St. Inez. The Campal Creek also known as St. Inez nullah opens up opposite Inox, squeezes in behind the heritage structures in Campal, flows besides Taj Vivanta, rests at St. Inez in the form of stagnant polluted water.
To say the least it’s in a very sorry state.
In an initiative to clean up and restore the Campal Creek, we at Goa ForGiving and HeritageJazz are mobilizing local residents on either side along the CAMPAL CREEK and people from across Goa to communicate and get together for a cause.
One of the immediate initiatives is to work alongside the newly elected govt. towards the development of the revival and renewal of the Campal Creek.
What are the possibilities for the Campal Creek ?
A. Restoring the Natural Eco-System
- Once the creek is dredged, de-silted and cleaned we may find that it contains several underground springs from where the water originates.
- To protect the clean water we must grow grasses, trees, bamboo, and a good shaded tree canopy along both banks making it into a wooded area.
- We introduce fish into the water. The birds and butterflies will congregate automatically.
- The tree canopy and water body under it will lower the temperature, make the air cleaner, more oxygenated.
- Small check dams along the waterway can provide hydro-power to light up the length of the canal.
B. Designing the Space for visitors – citizens/tourists
The 4 km stretch can be segmented into several tourist interest spots:
Benches and seating along the banks
Special canal walks taking in heritage Goa structures along the canal area
A potential outdoor Concert area
A fishing/ anglers paradise
A boating /water sports section
Beautiful wooded walking paths
A joggers track
A birders’ paradise
A set of themes can evolve for each segment of the canal
C. Sustainability and feasibility of the concept
The cleaning up of the Campal Canal in the above manner will cause the project to become carbon credit-worthy because:
- The original eco-system resources of a degraded space are being revitalized within a very urban setting – cleaner air, clean water, fish, birds, grasses, tree canopy and an abundance of biodiversity could result.
- By maintaining a clean water body, revitalizing choked streams and nurturing woods around the waterway large volume carbon dioxide sequestration will happen
- The atmosphere being cleansed of greenhouse gases could make the project a contributor to reversal of the Climate Change process.
- The check dams, some solar panelling along the 4 kms and other renewable energy technology applications could make this a viable alternative energy provider.
- The creek project could provide employment and enterprise to many.
- The spirit of community conservation could be fostered if each segment of the canal is looked after by the people who live alongside it. They could be incentivized to do this.
As a carbon credit worthy project it becomes an attractive proposition to attract investment interest. It is already located within a prestigious urban area in a state which receives a heavy tourist population. This project adds value in an environmentally challenged scenario thereby giving it additional worth which is why it can become a Voluntary Carbon Standard initiative where it is driven at the behest of the local community.
As a Voluntary Carbon Standard project it can also be replicated all over Goa especially in the more degraded areas where natural resources have been exploited through mining and other industrial practices.
The Campal Creek initiative has the potential to become the leader showing the way towards sustainability by utilizing carbon offsetting as a dynamic and practical way to resolve difficult urban problems through community participation.
With a all new Government and CCP in place, and with dynamism inbuilt in them, we are confident that the Campal Creek iniative by Civil Society will be a grand success.
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From the time we had our press conference that was held on April 19th, lots of water has flowed under the bridge. The Corporation of the City of Panjim Okayed a survey that will bring together all the information of the creek, and this is a must before any further work can be carried on in this regard. The CCP Commissioner Mr Sanjit Rodrigues visited our area numerous times in order to get first hand information of what is on ground, what people think and what can be done to bring all this to international levels.
Additionally, the Sewage Treatment Plant is releasing the purified water back into the creek which means that a few lakh litres of good water is being used to flush the creek into better health, thus paving way for nature to take over. Water levels in the creek have thus improved and kudos to the new State Government for acting with such swiftness.
Campal Creek Mother's Day Celebration
On Mother’s Day, the 13th of May, we decided to get into the creek and have kayaks and dinghies in them. CCP Commisioner Mr. Sanjit Rodrigues decided to pilot one such kayak, and there were many other citizens of Panjim and elsewhere including our Chairman Mr. Armando Gonsalves and others, who participated in the proceedings. Our endeavour was to make people realize that the Campal Creek is a creek, and not a nullah, and that it is well on the way of getting back to its pristine best. Once the people understand that there is a paradigm shift in the thinking process of Civil Society and the Government of Goa, besides the all important Corporation of the City of Panjim, the rest is that much an easier ride into success. And the idea of having this on Mother’s day, was that we decided that we as Civil Society will dedicate this to Mother Earth.
Campal Creek: The Good, The bad and The ugly!
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Campal Creek Photography Competition
In an initiative to clean up and restore the Campal Creek, we at Goa ForGiving and HeritageJazz mobilized local residents on either side along the CAMPAL CREEK and people from across Goa to communicate and get together for a cause.
A photo-essay competition was organized by Goa ForGiving to bring up the challenges as well as the opportunities that will arise in the development of the creek.
One of the immediate initiatives is to work alongside the newly elected govt. towards the development of the revival and renewal of the Campal Creek (cleaning, dredging, landscaping, controlling inflow and outflow of the water, passing certain rules to sustain the Creek etc).
The Campal Creek Initiative 2013
Just as last years mother's day celebration was a great success, we will continue to make it greater and even bigger this year. With the Mother's day approaching on the 12th of May our Creek Freaks team has pulled up their socks and begun with the project of reviving and revitalising the Campal Creek. We have the support of the CCP, Drishti lifeguards, our friends and volunteers with us. We do hope that more of the people join us on this project in making the creek a clean and a beautiful one. Here is some of the work that we Creek Freaks have been doing for the past few weeks.
Inspection by the CCP commisssioner Mr Sanjit Rodrigues
We had with us the CCP Commissioner to inspect the stretch we will be working on. He was very patient and promised his full support to us on the project.
Creek Freaks Survey
The Creek Freaks along with Drishti lifeguards conducted a survey as a follow up plan to analyse as to how the cleanup will be directed and what all will be required. We got into the Creek in a boat that was provided to us by the Taj. We noticed that most of the garbage comes from the houses that are situated along the creek and the buildings in it's surroundings.There is also a huge garbage dump further near a broken bridge which needs to be cleaned and the bridge too needs repairs or else it can pose a danger to the people trying to walk through it. Proper garbage management and segregation programs can help and improve the garbage problems.
The Cleanup Drive
On the 5th of April we had our first cleanup drive along with the slum kids, Drishti lifeguards and the CCP. The kids were a sport and helped in the cleaning process with no complaints. As much as we had fun during the cleaning process we were delighted to see some improvement in the Creek at the end of the cleanup. It brought us great happiness at the success of our first step in reviving the Creek to it's beauty.
Mother's Day celebration on the 12th of May
This year the Mother's Day celebration was held at the Children's park which is the start of the Creek. We had many exciting activities taking place simultaneously. We had zumba sessions wherein everyone came together and shook a leg. Activist Artist Loretti Pinto conducted a painting workshop for kids. Bookworm organised a story telling and an Art and Craft session and also had on display books by famous authors on sale. Since it was Mother's Day we dedicated this day to Mother Nature and took the opportunity of unveiling the conceptual sketch of "UZO". The Chief Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar made the honours of unveiling the sketch. He also took a ride into the Creek. BIG 92.7 FM were our partners and had a live coverage of the whole programme. Everyone present especially the kids had a lot of fun.
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