A dumping hot spot that has become home to rats and other vermin has been finally cleared and plants and trees planted there.
The waste on the open space near Hlengisa Primary in Nyanga was on Monday cleaned by the City of Cape Towns’ Environmental Management and Nature Conservation and Co-operation (NCC), both of whom have vowed to clear the dumping sites near schools and canals.
The groups, which have been doing the rounds in the townships, said people were dumping all kinds of things all over the community, leaving containers, broken glass and disposable nappies, among other things.
Nombeko Leputhing from the NCC said they have been to horrendous dumping sites but still cleaned them.
“We discourage dumping because it hurts the environment and is not good for our health. We go around school and clean these open spaces that many use as dumping sites. We not only clean them but we plant trees and plants. We taught pupils on the environment assisted by the city’s environment department,” she said.
She called on the community to take responsibility for their communities and work with them to clean their areas.
“Planting plants is healthier. Also trees are very important in our lives. These are things we should preserve and protect. Let us make sure that we have plants and trees around us. We hope this area will remain this beautiful from now on.”
Hlengisa principal Bayanda Madikane commended the groups’ efforts, saying the site had been a problem for the school and its cleaning had brought them “huge relief”.
“We really commend the efforts made by these teams. In fact we welcome their good work near our schools. Dumping is a big problem in our areas. I hope our neighbours can realise that and help us protect this place now. There were times when I would ask our guys to come clean here. Environment should be respected and be cleaned,” said Mr Madikane.
“There was a time you could see rats, dogs, cats roaming for old food to eat. It was a health hazard. We are proud to have people like these and their programmes that make sure our areas are clean,” he said.
He added that his pupils had learned a lot from the groups, and that the school had a garden where they also learned about the environment.