News Article

Motherwell gets hands dirty to save the environment

Published: June 19, 2024

As the world celebrates World Environment Month, little and big hands in Nelson Mandela Bay have dedicated this week to joining forces in an effort to restore and improve environmental management within the Metro.

 NMBM’s Public Health Portfolio Head, Cllr Thsonono Buyeye led from the front as Municipal employees, Eastern Cape Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment officials, pupils and non-governmental organisations got their hands dirty cleaning and greening in Ward 58, Motherwell where illegal dumping is rife. During the programme MMC Buyeye said following the disastrous floods in NMBM, the importance of environmental management was urgent.

 "In order for us to be able to cope with climate change and its effects we need to change the way we treat the environment around us. The recent floods in NMB once again highlighted the effects of illegal dumping, our storm water drains were blocked and water could not be directed as it should because drains are full of waste and rubble due to illegal dumping mostly. When drains are blocked, that water has no place to go and ends up flooding everywhere including in our homes, we saw formal and informal human settlements flooded in some areas due to this ongoing challenge.”

 "We are encouraged today to see so many stakeholders working with NMBM to restore the environment. DFFE has roped in Pick n Pay, Polyco, Petco, Swartkops Conservancy and the Giving them wings foundation to make this programme a success. This year’s theme is ‘accelerating land restoration, drought resilience and desertification progress’ and we commit ourselves as NMBM to work with all stakeholders who are doing good work to save our planet,” MMC Buyeye said. 

As part of the programme, 30 indigenous and 20 fruit trees were planted in Ward 59 on Tuesday, 18 June 2014, while a total of 50 fruit trees were donated to 50 households in Ward 58 on Wednesday. Sidima Ntshoko, 74, who received a fruit tree commended the programme highlighting the importance of educating residents regularly. 

Ward 58 Committee Member, Noriki Basela said: "We are delighted by this sight of seeing so many Municipal trucks and workers cleaning the illegal dumping site. It is a challenge we are battling with, every Wednesday the Municipality picks up waste in this ward but the next day people are dumping illegally and we are not sure why they do that. This is not just a cleaning and greening programme but door-to-door education is also being done so that helps us as we ward to see behavioural change in how residents deal with waste.” 

The programme will continue throughout the week in Motherwell while a beach clean up will be conducted on Saturday, 22 June 2024, to commemorate World Oceans Day. 

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