Love Howick NGO takes a stand against ‘grime and crime’

2018-12-12 15:32
A volunteer stuffs refuse into a skip during a clean-up operation at Howick Falls on Saturday.

A volunteer stuffs refuse into a skip during a clean-up operation at Howick Falls on Saturday.

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The community of Howick is taking a stand against the “grime and crime” in the Howick Falls area.

The Love Howick NGO has embarked on a rejuvenation process there and on Saturday performed a large-scale clean up along the Falls area and Goddard Park.

The NGO wants to bring people together to create a positive change to the once-popular tourist site.

Already, Love Howick has seen to it that a gardener works on the area once a week, and a group cleans the gorge walks once a month.

They have resolved to perform four major clean-ups in the area every year.

The situation has seemingly worsened in the area this year, with businesses saying they have noticed massive drops in revenue because of crime and public drinking and partying.

The area was dealt another blow when the uMngeni Municipality pulled funding from the Howick-uMngeni Community Tourism Organisation, which is widely recognised as the unifying force in Howick tourism.

Matt Hogarty, of Love Howick, explained that the organisation identified that the Falls area had serious problems and needed a transformation.

“It is an iconic landmark and is a draw card for the region, but in the last few years it has really been in a state of disarray, from the point of view of infrastructure and lawlessness.

“It is a community venue, but it has been taken over by lawlessness, and we wanted to make a positive change.”

He said several businesses have come on board with the effort, and the group was trying to organise security guards for the area.

NGO Love Howick on a clean-up campaign on Saturday in the Howick Falls area. (Jen Miller)

Hogarty said they were looking to renovate some of the facilities which have of late become home to vagrants.

“We try to meet with car guards to talk about security issues and with businesses to see how they can help. There’s a lot to be done and we need buy-in from people.”

He added: “This used to be a spot for international tourists and that is slowly changing because of safety and the general grime of the area.

“We want a positive change.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  pollution

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