International Environmental Week is celebrated annually during the first week of June and this year’s theme was “Seven billion dreams, one planet, consume with care”. Nkonkobe Municipality joined in on the celebrations when it hosted the Amathole District municipality environmental week celebrations on the 4 – 5 June 2015 at the Great Fish Game reserve and Sheshegu location respectively.
“Empowering the youth to become active environmental agents of sustainable and equitable development and giving a human face to environmental issues are just some of the reasons for celebrating environmental week.” said ADM Acting Mayor Cllr Memani in his address. He continued and said:” Creating awareness on the environment, the promotion of sustainable use and conservation of the natural resources is done for the benefit of both present and future generations”.
The main purpose for celebrating the environment is to create sound environmental knowledge, understanding and awareness within local communities, schools, local organisations and traditional leaders. Furthermore, environmental week celebrations enable the understanding of environmental opportunities and restraints that exist within the Reserve and also share this information with the surrounding communities.
Various activities formed part of the two day event with the first day dedicated to practical education for school children. This included visits to natural and environmental sites facilitated by the Fish River Game Lodge Manager, Gavin Shaw. The scholars viewed and learnt about the Spekboom, looking at invasive plant species, and environmental awareness amongst others.
These activities were preceded by a build-up programme that took place on the 27 and 28th May. Various presentations were done at Sotinini, Alfred Giba and Dondashe schools on water conservation, alien species and the exploitation of natural resources. Communities were not left behind also as Ngcabasa, Dikidikana and Mbizana villages were visited and trees were planted to help revitalize the environment.
Speaking in one of the build-up programs for the Mbizana community Mrs Dyantyi said: “The tree planting is a welcomed initiative for the community of Mbizana because it will help assist in preventing soil erosion in the community hall and also create shade for the community. It will also help assist school children in their natural science studies when they do their researches. This will also help our kids to realize that caring for the environment is also a career they can follow in the future.”
Written by: Cynthia Mokitimi