Chris Hani District Municipality (CHDM) recently initiated a waste management programme in ward 5, Ezibeleni.
According to CHDM spokeswoman Thobeka Mqamelo, CHDM will embark on waste management activities around the district, a programme championed by the health and community services directorate.
“Upon learning that illegal waste dumping in local municipalities is growing overwhelmingly, CHDM initiated programmes to clear and rehabilitate illegal dumping sites as part of support to the local municipalities. The Ezibeleni site is thus one of the areas that were identified for clearing and rehabilitation.”
Mqamelo said some of the activities undertaken on the site involved the removal of garbage with a front-end loader and tipper truck where they appointed 20 local residents for further clearing and establishment of a park. “This was followed by an awareness campaign conducted behind Bulelani Senior Secondary and Nokwanda Primary Schools. Partnerships with the community and schools ensures internalisation of our messages. The intention is mainly to instill knowledge and understanding of hazardous situations that the environmentally unfriendly activities can cause, both to human beings and animals. It is our hope that such information will result in behaviour change and appreciation of the environment.”
She indicated that participants who were involved in the awareness campaign had pledged to take care of the environment, with the document further stating, “I will do my part to protect the Earth. I will never litter. I will always recycle. I will reduce the waste I create. I will reuse what I can. I will conserve energy and water. I will encourage others to conserve our natural resources by reporting their leaking water pipes, overflowing sewage etc. By doing this I will be “making a visible difference” in my community, town and South Africa.”
Ward 5 councillor Andile Batyi said waste was a major issue which was regularly discussed in community meetings in the area. He added that he was impressed as residents had not broken their promise to keeping the sites clean after the visit by the district municipality. “This shows that we have a municipality that cares for the people and the environment in which they live.” Batyi added that the programme started in zone 3 and will soon spread to other areas in the ward.