Pupils told to keep habi­tat tidy

Coun­try has adopted en­tire month of June to heighten aware­ness of en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues through var­i­ous ini­tia­tives

Afro Voice (Western Cape) - - Free State News - ELFAS TORERAI elfast@afro­tone.co.za

AR­EAS un­der the Tswaing lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­ity face huge chal­lenges of waste man­age­ment and the gov­ern­ment now tar­gets schools to spread in­for­ma­tion on the need for a clean en­vi­ron­ment.

South Africa has adopted the en­tire month of June to heighten aware­ness of en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues through var­i­ous ini­tia­tives.

Of­fi­cials from the North West ru­ral, en­vi­ron­ment and agri­cul­tural development (Read) depart­ment have been de­ployed in the area to teach pupils how they can pre­serve the en­vi­ron­ment, start­ing at their schools.

The cam­paign seems to be yield­ing pos­i­tive re­sults as some of the pupils have vowed to sen­si­tise their par­ents about il­le­gal waste dump­ing.

One of the ar­eas where the cam­paign has reached is Agisanang lo­ca­tion in San­nieshof. The area has one of the big­gest waste man­age­ment chal­lenges that has be­come a threat to plants and an­i­mals. This year’s cam­paign pro­motes the re­use and re­cy­cling of plas­tic pol­lu­tion.

Read spokesper­son Emelda Setl­hako said: “The theme urges the govern­ments, in­dus­tries, com­mu­ni­ties and in­di­vid­u­als to come to­gether and ex­plore sus­tain­able al­ter­na­tives and ur­gently re­duce the pro­duc­tion and ex­ces­sive use of sin­gle-use plas­tic prod­ucts.”

She said erad­i­cat­ing plas­tic pol­lu­tion be­gins with small, in­di­vid­ual con­sumer ac­tions such as avoid­ing sin­gle-use plas­tic prod­ucts and re­cy­cling ex­ist­ing plas­tic prod­ucts wher­ever pos­si­ble.

Schools vis­ited so far in­clude Lebogang Pri­mary, Tu­misang Pri­mary and Naledi Pri­mary all in Ot­tos­dal.

The team has also been to JS Ma­sisi Pri­mary, Lil­lian Le­hetla Sec­ondary, Phat­sima Sec­ondary, Manamolela Pri­mary all in Atame­lang, Go­erge Madoda Pri­mary in De­lareyville and Re­fethuto Pri­mary and Agisanang Pri­mary in San­nieshof.

Af­ter the work­shop, pupils ex­pressed in­ter­est in chang­ing the pro­file of their com­mu­ni­ties. Ler­ato Ler­oux, 14, a Grade 7 pupil at Reatlegile Pri­mary School in Mat­she­la­pad said: “I will share with my friends and par­ents what I have learned from the work­shop es­pe­cially about the im­por­tance of re-us­ing plas­tics and re­cy­cling thereof.

“I wish that the peo­ple of De­lareyville stop lit­ter­ing and start pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment,” she said.

Koketso Kgothatso, a Grade 3 pupil at Manamolela Pri­mary School said: “The in­for­ma­tion we got made me aware that peo­ple in gen­eral take en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues for granted.”

The work­shops will con­tinue with the pro­gramme tak­ing it to other schools even be­yond the month of June.

Apart from school work­shops, the depart­ment will lead com­mu­nity en­gage­ments in Agisanang town­ship to­day.

It will also clean dump­ing sites and sell re­cy­clable ma­te­rial on Tuesday next week and hold a mass clean­ing cam­paign the fol­low­ing day with the main event on Friday at Agisanang sta­dium.

MEC Man­ketse Tl­hape is ex­pected to join the masses in pro­mot­ing aware­ness of the im­por­tance of pre­serv­ing bio­di­ver­sity and en­cour­ag­ing change in at­ti­tude in or­der to save the world.

SPREAD­ING THE WORD: Pro­vin­cial of­fi­cials have been de­ployed to teach pupils on how best to pre­serve the en­vi­ron­ment.

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