realising that local rivers in the Vhembe district have been polluted by uninformed
villagers who don’t understand the importance of clean environment to their
health, young students have made it their priority to clean and educate people
about the health benefits of a clean environment.
Organization (UGO), a student-led organisation, believes that rural people fail
to see the negative impact of throwing rubbish into rivers and wetlands. As a
result they have launched clean-up campaigns in order to educate them.
Value of environmental education
“Our organisation was
established to ensure that our environment is safe, clean and healthy to live
in. A polluted environment poses a lot of health hazards. We go to rural
villages to conduct environmental awareness programmes since people still need
to be taught about the importance of keeping their environment clean. Clean local
rivers are important to our lives,” said Talifhani Tshitwamulomoni (24), UGO
chairperson, and a registered student at the University of Venda.
“As UGO, we feel that
environmental education is lacking. More environmental education and cleaning
campaigns should be done as cleaning with the community makes them aware of
their responsibility for their environment. Over the years we have created
awareness in many areas in Vhembe,” he said.
One of the major
objectives they hope to achieve through their cleaning campaign is to
eliminate diseases such as cholera and malaria which thrive in a dirty
environment. Earlier this year, Health-e News reported about how residents
were blaming the dirty rivers for the high rate of malaria cases. Most rivers
in the area have been turned into illegal dumping sites, turning them into
polluted health hazards.
“The environment is a place
where humans as well as plants and animals live. Keeping it clean and neat is
our responsibility. It is necessary to keep our environment clean because a
polluted environment leads to sickness and diseases such as malaria,” said
He added: “Polluted
water carries bacteria that are harmful to people. A clean environment
particularly offers us clean air for breathing.” – Health-e News.
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