River Cleanup helps out in flood-affected areas

October 12, 2021

Deadly floods hit Europe

On July 14th and 15th heavy rains afflicted Belgium. In Wallonia, this lead to deadly floods that affected thousands of people and a huge area of nature. River Cleanup took action right away. First by helping people in need and later by organizing bigger actions to help nature. 

 

In the first week after the floods, our team members Ines and Hanne went to the affected areas to help people clean their houses.

 

"The amount of destruction caused by the water was unbelievable. Entire house contents littered the
streets, everything from furniture to photo albums. We advised our volunteers not to look further
than a meter ahead. If you looked up and saw how much work there still was, that could be soul-
crushing. But if you just focused on what was happening close-by, you would catch the gaze of the
residents of the affected region. The gratitude in their eyes lightened the load considerably. And then
when you looked back, you could see what you'd achieved, and that strengthened our resolve to put
everything back together. That was satisfying!"
- Thomas De Groote, founder of River Cleanup

 

River Cleanup takes action

After seeing the state of the towns and surrounding nature, they wanted to help out on a larger scale and started organizing the Cleanup Floods Actions. Twice a week from the end of July until the end of September River Cleanup sent busses full of River Warriors to the affected areas to clean up the mountains of garbage that were left behind by the floods.

"The amount of destruction caused by the water was unbelievable. Entire house contents littered the
streets, everything from furniture to photo albums."
- Tines Goovaerts, team member of River Cleanup

 

During July and August De Lijn generously provided us with busses and drivers. In September and October we continued with our own busses, sponsored by many different companies who wanted to help out. In total we were able to send about 2500 people to Wallonia already and collected about 75 000 kgs of trash! 

 

It's not over yet 

In October and November River Cleanup keeps organizing actions with companies and schools to clean even more parts of the rivers and their riverbanks. Want to join or sponsor our efforts? Everything you need to know is on our floods page