Community members, and University staff and students came in large number to participate in the cleaning campaign

The University of Venda (Univen), Amplifying Community Voices Students Association (ACVoSA) teams, namely Community Shakers, Salvation, Simunye, Sunrise and The Bridge, Thulamela Municipality and community members from Thohoyandou recently took to the streets cleaning campaign to clean up the university, public places in Thohoyandou, Thohoyandou Taxi ranks and other sites in the Thohoyandou Central Business District. The main purpose of this campaign was to sensitize local communities on sustainable benefits of taking care of the environment. The cleaning campaign took place on Wednesday, 25 October 2017. For this to happen, it was crucial to ‘clean people’s minds”.

Keep our surroundings clean and manage waste correctly- Mayor Tshifhango

Addressing the audience during the “Thohoyandou of Our Dreams” workshop held at the Thohoyandou Town Hall involving more than 600 people who participated in the cleaning campaign, Thulamela Municipality Mayor Councillor Avhashoni Tshifhango thanked the audience for showing a huge sense of civic responsibility. He said that human beings depend on the environment and its natural resources for survival. Councillor Tshifhango further highlighted that people use water from rivers to drink, grow food using the soil and also catch fishes in the rivers and dams. Therefore, people should start keeping our environment clean for their own benefit.

“Let us keep our surroundings clean and manage waste correctly.” Cllr Tshifhango echoed that clean up effects may provide community health benefits such as elimination of breeding sites for mosquitoes. He alluded that research indicates that keeping a neighborhood clean can reduce crime, fear and feeling of helplessness in communities. “Research also indicates that, there are many positive links between a clean environment and how we feel about ourselves. If you have a clean area, you also feel good about yourself,” Honourable Tshifhango added.

He concluded by advising the audience that creating treasure from trash and turning waste in to wealth was very important because it could help to combat
serious environmental problems such as global warming. In addition to this, wealth could be created from trash.

The DVC Academic, Prof Jan Crafford, whilst welcoming the cleaning teams on campus, commended Mayor Tshifhango and his Mayoral Committee for embracing cleaning the surrounding environment as a top priority. He said that he was humbled and impressed to see that Mayor Tshifhango was not afraid of making himself dirty by joining and actively participating in the cleaning campaign. He concluded by saying that what people reflected outside was what they thought inside.

Ms Avhafuni Mukwevho from Ha-Makhuvha, a member of Tshikofokofo Adopt a River project advised other community members to join cleaning campaigns without expecting any financial benefits. She further stated that as they cleaned the surrounding communities, it was also part of fighting diseases such as malaria and other diseases caused by dirty environments. She advised people to always work hard to make their surroundings clean at all times.

“Participating in this cleaning campaign has taught me a lot about how people think about a dirty environment and how to modify our ideologies towards cleaning campaigns and projects”, said Tshedza Masithulela, a third year Bachelor of Environmental Sciences student at UNIVEN and also a member of ACVoSA. She went on to encourage other community members and students to stop littering all over.

Community members and University students listening to the Mayor addressing them

Issued by:
Department of Communications and Marketing
University of Venda
Tel: 015 962 8525
Date: 26 October 2017

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