Northdale Primary on a mission to clean up the hood

2009-08-14 00:00

INSTEAD of sitting back and doing nothing while residents use the area surrounding their school as a dumping site, pupils of Northdale Primary School are making an effort to keep the area clean.

The school started an environmental club two years ago, after many years of frustration as a result of the litter dumped outside the school’s footpath, which borders Lornelia Road.

Pupils’ lives were endangered as the litter on the footpath forced them to walk along the road.

With the formation of the environmental club, groups of eager pupils clean up regularly to provide a healthy, safe and secure environment for all pupils.

The club consists of three group leaders who are each allocated a section in and around the school and they work together to tidy it up.

Pupils are encouraged to play active roles when it comes to the environment.

They were awarded the 2008 Environmental Awareness floating trophy by the Keep Pietermaritzburg Clean Association (KPCA).

The school has worked closely with representatives from the KPCA, the Environmental Health Department and the Eco-school project

These institutions have all contributed by providing gloves and refuse bags for the pupils to use in their clean-up.

The co-ordinator of the school’s environmental club, Sue Singh, said ward councillor Les Naidoo has been instrumental in getting the municipality to cut the unkempt verges near the school.

Singh said they were doing their best to keep the area clean, but residents who use the area as a dump site are an ongoing problem, which is particularly bad after weekends.

“An appeal is being made to the municipality to have the footpath levelled out and maintained regularly so that it becomes user-friendly for our pupils,” said Singh.

She said an appeal has also gone out to the residents of Lornelia Road and Doris Crescent to help the school keep the area litter-freeand to report “anyone dumping to the relevant authorities”.

A CONCERNED resident writes: About three months ago, I noticed a burst pipe with large volumes of water being lost. The burst pipe borders a house selling fruit and vegetables in Paton Street, where it joins up with Hoosen Haffajee Street. I assumed the leakage was reported and it would be attended to. Two months later, I happened to pass this spot and was horrified to see that the leak had not been attended to. I only noticed the burst pipe three months ago, but how many months before that did the pipe burst and how many thousands of kilolitres of water have been lost in this period? I informed the municipality. Nobody had reported the leak before (public apathy!). They took the details down and rang back the next day to say that the leak was not their responsibility and that I should contact the Parks and Recreations Board, which I did. They in turn said it is not their responsibility, but they would attend to it. Two weeks went by and nothing was done. I hope you can be of some help in solving the problem.

Msunduzi Municipality spokeswoman Ntobeko Ngcobo responds: An investigation has been carried out and it was discovered that the service connection was leaking behind the meter; as the stop valve was closed, the water stopped leaking, making that an internal leak. Internal leaks are the responsibility of the property owner and that has been brought to the attention of the occupier. Nevertheless, repairs have been done by the water section.

Christine Dowie writes: I have just seen the photo and read the article about filth on the corner of Murray and Beacon roads. My problem is the filth caused by the taxis at the rank on the corner of Murray and C.B. Downes. I phoned the Parks Department in this connection and they did respond by cleaning up last week. The problem is that garbage is left there every day. When we (the ratepayers) were informed that permission had been given for a taxi rank to operate from this corner, we expressed fears about litter and were assured by the “persons of authority” that the taxi drivers would keep this area clean. Bear in mind it is on the banks of a stream, which I am sure is polluted by now. The taxi drivers sit around for most of the morning and when they leave in the afternoons the litter is disgusting. Surely they should clean up before they leave. Who is responsible for telling the taxi drivers to clean up after themselves or are these people afraid of the taxi drivers?

Msunduzi Municipality spokeswoman Ntobeko Ngcobo responds: Our waste management will attend to this matter. We appeal to the public to make use of the bins that have been provided at the rank. We have in many instances encouraged the taxi operators to maintain and monitor the cleanliness of the taxi rank. We cannot provide cleaning services on a daily basis; therefore people have to do what they can to better the situation. This is something that can be done if we all work together.

THE Msunduzi Municipality recently launched an alternative energy programme that saw it handing over stoves and lamps to co-operatives in Caluza.

Each co-operative received a two-plate stove, a five-litre gel container, a lamp and oil. The municipality and various partners organisations handed out starter packs to those in need and expects to extend the programme to more beneficiaries soon.

DO you take pride in your city? Then play an active role in our Take Pride in Your City campaign. Imagine the difference to our environment if each resident helped keep the city clean. Do you know of anyone who has taken a pro-active approach in cleaning up our city? Let us know so we can use their story to inspire others. You can e-mail your pictures, stories and suggestions to nelly@witness.co.za or tocitywatch@witness.co.za.

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