Celebrating National Youth Month through Environmental Awareness
The Inkomati Usuthu Catchment Management Agency (IUCMA), a body responsible for the management and monitoring of all our water sources, partnered with Sembcorp Silulumanzi to retrieve disposable diapers discarded by local community into nearby stream feeding the main water source, the Crocodile River, with water. On 14 June 2016, about 30 community volunteers joined 4 staff of Sembcorp Silulumanzi and 1 IUCMA representative to pick up litter, disposable baby diapers and broken bottles from the Shishila stream in Pienaar which feeds the Crocodile River with water. The objective of this ongoing campaign is to encourage polluters to become the agents of change by advocating for the prevention of the pollution of any fresh water source and the constant monitoring and cleaning of streams, wetlands and any freshwater source within communities.
Sembcorp Silulumanzi not only made available the 4 staff members to assist and support the local community to clean the stream, a truck for the collection and safe disposal of the garbage thrown onto the stream was also made available to assist with this operation that lasted about 6 hours. T-shirts with water message and other promotional material were given to volunteers as an encouragement for volunteering and creating awareness about environmental safety and awareness. Disposable diapers retrieved from the stream filled up about 40 black garbage bags and there were still some that could not be accessed due to overgrow plants blocking access. Therefore, it was agreed with the volunteers that a regular follow-up cleaning campaign should be held to involved the wider community to play their part in preventing any further degradation of the environment and contamination of the Shishila stream with used disposable baby diapers. The local municipality does not, as yet, have refuse removal in the area, therefore, the community resort to dumping all their domestic garbage, including used disposable diapers into any ditch, including streams that flow into the main local water source.