Body of dead baby sparks youth clean-up campaign

2014-07-18 00:00

THE body of a dead baby found at an illegal dumpsite in France township has galvanised a youth clean-up campaign at the spot.

From 11 am today, more than 60 volunteers and members of environmental NGO Green Network will be cleaning out the vast site.

They plan to turn it into a community “remembrance” garden to ensure that nothing as horrific ever happens there again.

Green Network co-ordinator Sandile Ndawonde said when they read the story in community newspaper Echo two weeks earlier about the baby’s body being found, they were horrified. He said what made it even more traumatic was that children playing in the dumpsite had found the body. According to Echo, this was the second incident in France where the body of a baby has been found at the dump site.

Green Network’s community liaison officer, Nkanyiso Khumalo, said they planned to start cleaning the dumpsite at 11 am and continue until it was cleared. The network had 60 volunteers living in France and he believed the organisation’s other volunteers from Tembalihle, Caluza and upper Edendale would join in.

According to Khumalo, Msunduzi Municipality did not provide a refuse removal service in the area. “This is one of the issues that is going to be discussed going forward as the residents are angry about this,” he said.

Khumalo explained that Green Network was supported by the Duzi-uMgeni Conservation Trust (Duct) and the Keep Pietermaritzburg Clean Association. He said they were working on environmental education and cleaning up illegal dump sites in disadvantaged communities.

According to Khumalo there was a misconception that black youth were not interested in the environment. “We are, and you will see by the number of volunteers we have that there is keen interest in wanting to make our areas beautiful and looking after the environment,” he said.

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