Youth day: greening of Mpophomeni

2012-06-18 00:00

THE Midlands greeted Youth Day with two environmental projects: an awareness campaign and a clean-up of the streets.

Andile Vilikazi, a co-ordinator with the Mpophomeni Sanitary Awareness Programme, launched an awareness campaign to address the root of the township sewerage problem.

“The bins, not the toilet,” was his message to people who don’t realise that sanitary pads, paper, condoms and animal parts can block sewerage works and cause havoc.

Vilikazi spread his message at a football tournament in Howick West on Saturday morning, where 24 local teams had gathered. “They listened to me,” Vilikazi said. “People said the problem of overflowing sewage had been around, but they didn’t know how to stop it.”

Meanwhile, Mpophomeni Councillor Zime Dlamini led a clean-up in the streets. One of her team said the clean-up focused on sports fields and roadsides where people sold vegetables.

“Vegetables and trash don’t go together,” he explained. “It’s not a healthy place to sell vegetables so that’s why we’re cleaning it up.”

Mpophomeni residents going about their Saturday morning chores spoke of how their tap water was often dirty.

“When this happens I put potassium permanganate into the water,” said Phumelele Dlamini, tending to her many chickens. “This way I am able to give my chickens clean water.” She travels 13 km to Howick to buy the chemical.

Simphiwe Zuma, of uMgungundlovu District Municipality, confirmed that manholes in Mpophomeni often had to be unblocked. He asked the public to alert the municipality when they saw leakages. — Additional reporting by the Umthombo Secondary School Enviro Club, of Mpophomeni.

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