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Let’s Be the Change and Let’s Curb Illegal Dumping Together

Oudtshoorn, 14 February 2023 – Oudtshoorn Municipality in collaboration with Environmental Health Practitioners from Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) started a campaign to educate communities of the Greater Oudtshoorn on the health effects of illegal dumping on Monday,13 February 2023.

The Environment and Health Officer of the municipality, Mr Ambrose Carelse, sections of law enforcement, cleansing services, MISA (Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent) and Environmental Health Practitioners from the GRDM workers started the awareness campaign in Smarty Town and will roll it out to the other areas in the Greater Oudtshoorn. Members of the public also participated in the awareness campaign to prevent illegal dumping which is a serious environmental and public health concern. This habit of illegal dumping leads to pollution of air, water and soil, and can also attract pests and create unsanitary conditions. In addition, it can also decrease property values and negatively impact the overall aesthetic of an area.

The Manager Municipal Health Services of GRDM, Mr Desmond Paulse, gave training on health and hygiene with the focus on the health effects and prevention of illegal dumping, to twenty MISA workers who were appointed in the Community Services Department of Oudtshoorn Municipality, to assist the Environmental Health Practitioners with door- to-door awareness and education during the campaign. The MISA workers also completed a perception survey during the door-to-door visits to get the community’s perception on why people dump waste illegally.

The aim of the awareness and education programme is to educate the community about the importance of a clean and healthy environment free from littering and illegal dumping. Illegally dumped waste is an eyesore in all communities of the Greater Oudtshoorn and residents are urged to do their share in keeping our town clean.  The slogan of the campaign is “let’s be the change within our communities and let’s curb illegal dumping together”.

The Executive Mayor of the Greater Oudtshoorn, Alderman Chris Macpherson, are urging all residents to support this initiative. “Let’s claim responsibility and do our bit towards a cleaner town.”

This campaign will also form part of the ongoing collaborative health and hygiene education and awareness program of the Municipal Health Section of GRDM and the Oudtshoorn Municipality and will also involve schools, churches, institutions etc. to participate in the prevention of illegal dumping. Mrs Maria Abrahams, a community member, availed herself to bring awareness to kids at creches.

Carelse has been running a #MyTownMyProblem campaign for almost a year now, where he and officials from cleansing services do clean-ups and planting trees in and around the Greater Oudtshoorn and he hopes that this illegal dumping campaign will be an eye opener to the public and assist with keeping our towns clean and green.

“Let’s be the change within our communities and let’s curb illegal dumping together”.