Treverton pupils honoured for environmental work at Mooi River

2015-02-05 00:00

THE Grade 6 class at Treverton Preparatory School has received an international accolade for taking care of the environment in Mooi River.

The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Wessa), through its Eco-Schools Programme — an international programme of the Foundation for Environmental Education that is active in 51 countries — honoured Treverton with an Eco-Schools Diamond Decade Award for maintaining their international flag status this week.

Annually, the pupils embark on an ­environmental cleanup initiative, cleaning up the banks of the Mooi River as part of their “Civics and Citizenship” programme.

“We are very proud and excited for receiving an award because it recognises the work that the school does in matters relating to the environment, something that constitutes an important part of the school’s ethos,” said environmental teacher Andy Dijkstra.

The pupils filled at least 50 garbage bags of litter and piled up discarded truck tyres and telephone cable casings.

Dijkstra said the pupils also wrote persuasive letters to authorities to convince them to take action against illegal dumping in the area.

These letters, describing pupils’ experiences and explaining how shocking and dirty the area was, were handed to the Mpofana Municipality together with a memorandum in November last year — seeking the urgent intervention of municipal manager Max Moyo.

The memorandum outlined why the illegal dumping is a health hazard and how it affects all communities in the area.

One pupil wrote: “We are concerned and shocked about the amount of litter and illegal dumping and how it affects water in the river, particularly because some people fish in the river.”

Another wrote: “We would like to see greater monitoring and control of the ­litter so all people in the community can benefit. We need to respect and take care of our environment.”

Dijkstra added: “We have not received a response from the authorities. The municipality must monitor the problem and put dustbins around the area.

“We will continue cleaning the area and putting pressure on them in the hope that the problem will be solved. We use the area for environmental education and it has to be clean at all times.”

Moyo acknowledged the memorandum and referred queries to Lennox ­Mabaso of the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs because the municipality is still under ­administration.

Mabaso said it was the municipality’s responsibility to ensure that people employed to collect litter and cut the grass did their jobs properly.

“The essence of our back-to-basics programme is to encourage municipalities to ensure that workers are dedicated in their jobs. We’ll bring the matter to the attention of the new mayor and senior managers to have it addressed.”


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