On Sunday, around 1,200 people threw themselves into several rivers, lakes or canals in Belgium during the annual Big Jump. This has become an annual event, demanding responsible management of water courses. Some 4,000 spectators also attended the 2017 event.
The association GoodPlanet Belgium has organised Big Jump since 2005. The aim is to call upon Belgium and other European countries to comply with the European Water Framework Directive. This was initially adopted in 2000 and then renewed until 2021. The text aims to promote sustainable use of water, to improve the condition of aquatic ecosystems, and to mitigate the effects of flooding, as well as droughts.
Ellen De Bock, Head of PR at Big Jump, said, “We are already seeing an improvement in the river water quality in recent years. However, this is insufficient. Almost no European country has reached the directive’s objectives.”
This year, event participants jumped into the canal at Anderlecht, the River Lesse in Les Grottes de Han, the River Meuse in Wépion, the Rulles in Habay-la-Vieille but also in Alost, Lokeren and Saint-Trond.
Big Jump has also been organized in other European countries.