Nombeko Mashele, a resident from Mamelodi East, Phase 3 volunteered to clean the dumping site. She said that her husband used to use the space for his recycling project and after he died some people in the community took advantage and started dumping in the area. “After we buried my husband I decided to start cleaning the area since people were dumping rubbish, it didn’t sit well with me when I saw people keeping on dumping and I decided to do something about it.
Mrs Mashele said she wants to turn the dumping area into a vegetable garden which will help the community with healthy food and will also encourage people in the community to practice a healthy lifestyle. She mentioned that the municipality comes sometimes to clean the dumping site around her area and when they stop coming people look for spaces that they can use for dumping.
“It took me more than two weeks and people kept on throwing rubbish, I’ll clean today and the next day there will be more. I’ve realized that when I’ve cleaned people dump during the night when no one sees them. I’m using material from my home to clean the area, some of the rubbish I can’t use my hands I have to burn them and some I’ll dig a whole for compost purposes”, said Mrs Mashele.
The lady said she tried putting a “NO DUMPING SIGN” board to make the community aware but it didn’t help enough to stop some of them from throwing rubbish. She added that she spoke to the street committee in the community to speak to people about what she want to do with the space.
When she was cleaning, she realised that there are rats already living near where she want to start her project. She said that she might face a greater challenge of dispersing all of them to prevent them from destroying her project.
Mrs Nombeko is looking forward to meet with the Department of Agriculture to approach them and ask for help with plantation and seeds. She also needs equipment such as pipes for water transportation from car wash from the community, fertilizers, poison to kill rats, fence. She said she would like to give back to the community and help elder people and keep them busy and fit as they will be helping with the garden project.
By: Fortunate Machaba