A GROUP of caring citizens from various Amanzimtoti organisations initiated a coastal clean-up week which started on Saturday, September 16.A group of scouts, Amanzimtoti Sports Centre chairperson Craig Chamier and Sapphire Coast Tourism’s chairperson Romy Wenzel and former chairperson Monique de Kock initiated a clean up of the area around the Amanzimtoti Sports Centre and Illanda Wilds under the auspices of Amanzimtoti Conservancy.The group cleaned up the walkways going to the river banks - sadly, most of the litter was found in this area.“Plastic bags, nappies, old shoes, glass, debris, animal skin and bones and even a headboard was picked up. We were extremely fortunate that the river was super low allowing us to cross from one side to the other side with ease,” said Sapphire Coast Tourism chairperson, Romy Wenzel.She said more helping hands are needed to keep this beautiful area clean throughout the year. “It is very sad to acknowledge that local residents are using Ilanda Wilds as a dump site. Many packed plastic [bags] were found - household and garden rubbish - along the river banks. Especially with two official dump sites being in the near vicinity, allowing residents to dump, free of charge,” Wenzel added.The chairman said the real problem that needs to be addressed is, firstly, illegal dumping, and secondly, the dumping of all sorts of rubbish from surrounding rural areas, into the river, flowing down to the coast.Denzil van der Westhuizen from Clean Surf Project suggested possibly installing “storm netting trash traps” to prevent litter and debris from flowing into rivers towards lagoons and beaches. Wenzel felt it is the only way at this point to eventually create a litter-free environment in order to attract locals, holidaymakers, investors and international travellers.The hardworking volunteers managed to fill the SkipGo container kindly sponsored and finished at 10.20am.Wenzel thanked the scouts, Craig Chamier, Councillor André Beetge for providing the bags, and De Kock for not being scared to dig in and get dirty.