“Thou shall not pollute the environment”

MARAPONG — In times where Climate Change is a serious talking point among those who are concerned about its impact in the near future and how current human behaviour can negatively affect the environment at large, Lephalale Municipality has taken to the schools to spread the message of love and tender care towards the surrounding environment.

Waste management is a challenge in Marapong

The Waste Management Division of Lephalale Local Municipality, visited Tielelo Secondary School in Marapong to teach learners about environmental pollution on Friday 22 February.

The Waste Division, led by Joshua Hlapa and colleague Tsakane Baloyi, likened their teaching to the Bible’s Ten Commandments.

The statement “thou shall not pollute the environment” led the way.

Hlapa told learners that the municipality has a serious problem with waste management, due to littering and illegal dumping of waste material.

The emphasis was on the fact that Lephalale Municipality has the responsibility to ensure residents live in an environment that is not harmful.

“Littering and illegal dumping of waste poses a high risk to residents and the municipality has by-laws to regulate that. Our municipality’s environmental report states that Marapong is facing a serious challenge with illegal dumping and the culprits are among the people of the community and continue to do so.

“If you travel around the location there is litter on almost every corner and this is a punishable offense,” he said.

He also encouraged learners to report any action committed by residents, like people who litter, burn waste anywhere or anything that is against the municipal by-laws.

“Such persons will be prosecuted and arrested for six months, or be charged to pay a R1 000 fine. We would also like to see residents take part in cleaning campaigns and to also realise that there are other means like recycling what one sees as waste,” said Hlapa.

Learners were also introduced to other ways that can assist in saving the environment and to avoid littering. These are:

  • Re-use of plastic bags;
  • Re-use of food containers at home;
  • Creating flower pots with papers and newspapers; and
  • Composting leaves instead of burning them.

The informative drive was also attended by Josiah Mohaope from the Department of Agriculture in the Forestry and Fisheries division.

His responsibility is to ensure the National Forest Act is observed, through looking at any activity to do with Forestry in the Waterberg District and to discourage the cutting of trees.

He also emphasized that littering and illegal dumping are punishable offences with six month’s imprisonment or alternatively a R1 000 fine.

The illegal cutting of trees can also lead to a fine of up to R25 000.

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