Blog entry by Nafeesa Amod and Delwyn Pillay
Friday 20 March 2015, The Greenpeace local group: Durban were invited to join The South Durban Basin ABM's Beach Clean up, together with various departments and stakeholders ( Crow, Glass Recycling Company, Police Forum SAPS, DSW, WESSA, COP, Blue Security, Ambulance Service) who co-ordinated the clean-up at the Merebank Cuttings Beach. On the day, over 100 kids bused in from 4 schools from the different communities such as Bluff, Wentworth, Merebank, and many others, worked together to do a much needed cleanup of a section of beach in Merebank known to locals as Cuttings.
We met at 9am to register and the school kids were spoken to as to why we were here and why we needed to clean our beaches teaching them how pollution and daily our habits effects the environment, and how this can be remedied with recycling and then the children were asked questions about what was taught, and those that answered correctly were rewarded with little gifts. Ward Councillor Aubrey Snyman made the word of the day to be "responsibilty".
Everyone was given a bottle of water to stay hydrated during the session. As we trekked to the beach area that needed cleaning the kids and the volunteers and stakeholders could see the evidence of pollution everywhere. The kids were quite eager to clean upn even though it was blistering with the heat. So the 1hr session began
200 bags of glass bottles and the overwhelming amount of plastic bottles and other plastic items were picked up.
The kids were especially thanked for their participation and hope was lifted that these kids will also commit themselves to making changes in their lives that will reduce pollution.
Thank you to the South Basin Durban ABM for inviting us to this important initiative. We applaud you for getting the various departments and stakeholders involved with this project. We encourage more initiatives/projects like this, working with the community hand in hand to address the environmental and social issue that the community are faced with. As it is only that when we come together from the various spectrum which makes up the community that we can start to address these issues in a systematic manner that will go beyond band aid solutions. The Greenpeace Durban group look forward to working with the South Durban Basin ABM and the ethekwini Municipality on more projects like this, and will as the local branch of Greenpeace offer our full support within our capacity as volunteers of the organisation. We will also hold the Municipality accountable to the promises that they make to the community. We commend Irene Chetty (Environmental Projects) South Durban Basin ABM for all of her hard work and dedication. Keep up the good work that you do!
Last but not least a big thank you to the new volunteers (Joanne, Roxanne, Zaffar and Ramona) who showed up. It was a great team effort that made the clean up a success. VIVA!