“When people are angry, whatever they come across, they destroy it because they don’t realize that it might be precious”

Illegal dumping is ultimately becoming a prevalent issue in Orlando East, Soweto as Mam’Nomsa Dhlamini and her team of volunteers are cleaning every park and notorious dumping spots around the township. This initiative commenced last year when Dhlamini, who is now a retired nurse saw the need for a thorough clean up on the park situated where there used to be an old post office in Orlando East.

When doing her own analysis of the rifeness of this illegal dumping, Dhlamini posits that she noticed a lot of people are unemployed and therefore there’s anger stemming from that. “I noticed that people are crying out very loud, saying we have anger. You see when people are angry, whatever they come across they destroy it because they don’t realize that this thing is precious therefore requires to be protected", she said.

“I retired last in May and as I was seating here at home, I noticed a lot of loitering amongst the community dwellers and a lot of illegal dumping. I wanted to find out as to where this dumping is coming from and why was it so rife, in trying to find a solution to this problem I then called the community of ward 29. We had a host of meetings and then last year November we had a questionnaire circulated around the community regarding this illegal dumping” continued Dhlamini.

In an effort to combat illegal and meaningless dumping, these meetings that Dhlamini conducted with the people of ward 29 saw the birth of a movement that seeks to make Orlando East a litter free township, through the commitment of passionate volunteers who are tired of living in a garbage infested neighborhood. “In all wards, from 29 till ward 30 I’ve got people who are volunteering until manna comes from heaven and they see themselves employed somewhere. Inward 28 there are thirty volunteers, ward 30 has more than sixty people volunteering, and ward 31 has sixty volunteers.”

Dlamini approached City Parks which in turn, to honor her hard work maintains twice a month the former infested Park that propelled Dlaminini to introduce this cleaning initiative. Pikitup is also on board with plastic bags and gloves as well as ensuring that the collected garbage is picked up and dealt with accordingly. “I said Pikitup, what I want you to do for me is train Grade 11 and 12 learners so that they can do door-to-door visits trying to get a database and to find out how many houses have rubbish bins and how many don’t have.”

 However pivotal and poignant this initiative is, there are challenges that the volunteers are facing such as the shortage of working tools due to the growing number of people volunteering. Dhlamini, therefore, urges anyone who is willing to donate with tools for this movement to come forth. “My aim for coming up with this initiative was to make this township a pilot of cleanliness.” Concluded Dhlamini. For more information on how you can participate in this movement and donate with some working tools, you can contact Mam’Nomsa Dhlamini 084 285 4200.




By: Lwando Mqokweni

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