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Dog poop and related matters

11 January 2013, 12:22

I was amused by a writer’s defence to complaints of the mess left by some people who walk their dogs on the beaches and the parallels that were drawn between tourist behaviour and dog behaviour. I love dogs too. I would be equally frustrated if holidaymakers pooped on the beach (even if it were only in special demarcated areas as the writer suggests).

Courtesy and tolerance should always be first priority. The visitors are completely at their right to get rowdy, have their kids run around and have a party as long as this is done in respect of neighbours and they don't burn the place down (I sat most of xmas day on the roof with a hosepipe). Equally you are welcome to have your dog bark, run around without a leash and poop in special demarcated areas of your house. There already are specially allocated areas in public areas where dog poop can be put. They’re called rubbish bins. Don’t be gross. Pick up the poop.

The potholes are pretty bad, aren't they? But it does not upset or surprise me. Kouga and the whole Eastern Cape is such a poor region. I read the other day that the Eastern Cape does not have even one state-provided drug and alcohol rehabilitation programme in a region where low-income families, which show the largest occurance of substance abuse, are so many. Our potholes are just not a high enough priority with all the challenges the EC face to provide education, sanitation and jobs, and rightly so. If you want to ring-fence your pothole fund why not start in your street and get in touch with your neighbours to fix the bad places in your own road. It may not be fair but it will solve your problem. Areas where we keep having potholes may be better suited to be paved. It is cheaper and simpler. If you can't remove the cause of the problem it might be worth rethinking the approach.

I read about two problems in the Kouga area in our town: standing water and dune erosion. Flooding and seasonal dams are causing a lot of damage to the community and the environment. The solution should be something sustainable, cost efficient and eco-friendly. Certain plants indigenous to the region might be able to absorb standing water in rainy season to combat the accumulation of boggy areas whilst growing or dying in the dry season to provide vegetation and underbrush for dune conservation. I don’t know what the indigenous plant options are or even what they look like. I hope to get the input of someone that is an expert in the field and involved in the region. The solution could be a twenty minute conversation. In the meantime a pipe with a floater could help by naturally draining the area while floating at the top of the surface instead of a pump that consumes energy and lies on the bottom where it sucks up rubbish and gets clogged.

I could complain about all these things but most days and especially xmas my belly was full of food, the weather was fine, the beer was cold and the locals were welcoming. I go to the Eastern Cape for the people, the beaches, the food and the atmosphere. I'll take my holidays sans dog poop on the beaches. When you walk past a piece of trash on the beach please pick it up. It's not just my beach, it's yours too. I will be back exhausted and stressed from the year in December and I will leave again refreshed, sunburnt and pickled in calamari and wine.

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