Stu­dent calls for help to clean up har­bour


A UNIVER­SITY of KwaZulu-Na­tal Marine Bi­ol­ogy stu­dent, Re­filwe Mo­fo­keng, is lead­ing a Storm Re­sponse Har­bour Clean-up ini­tia­tive and is ap­peal­ing to mem­bers of the pub­lic to get in­volved.

Mo­fo­keng runs a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion and has been hold­ing monthly clean-ups to help keep the ocean free from lit­ter for the safety of marine life.

“We have seen ex­ten­sive dam­age in Dur­ban be­cause of the re­cent storm and now more vol­un­teers are needed to as­sist in the clean-up op­er­a­tion.

“We need as many hands as pos­si­ble to help keep the waste out of our wa­ters and away from marine life,” she said.

Items such as plas­tic and poly­styrene con­tain­ers are be­ing dumped and washed into the har­bour, en­dan­ger­ing marine life.

Mo­fo­keng hopes to raise aware­ness about en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues and is ap­peal­ing to restau­rants to use sug­ar­cane-based food con­tain­ers in­stead of poly­styrene, which is not biodegrad­able.

“I have re­ceived sup­port from the Wil­son’s Wharf Spur Steak Ranch and John Dory’s, as well as the Royal Na­tal Yacht Club and I hope more fran­chises im­ple­ment these meth­ods to sus­tain the en­vi­ron­ment.”

Mo­fo­keng’s re­search fo­cuses on the im­pact waste has on marine life.

“I feel that plas­tic – and espe­cially the chem­i­cals found in plas­tic – is ex­tremely harm­ful to marine life, and to hu­mans who con­sume seafood.”

Mo­fo­keng hopes to ex­tend the clean-up project into town­ships, where she says the col­lec­tion of lit­ter is mis­man­aged.

“It is es­sen­tial to sep­a­rate lit­ter at the source and to also look at how re­cy­cling can gen­er­ate rev­enue for many com­mu­ni­ties,” she said.

The clean-up is sched­uled to start to­mor­row at 8.30am in Dur­ban Har­bour.

UKZN stu­dent Re­filwe Mo­fo­keng is ap­peal­ing to the pub­lic to join her in clean­ing up the har­bour to­mor­row.

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