Mamelodi woman’s battle to transform illegal dumpsite

Nombeko Mashele of Mamelodi East, Phase 3 hard at work cleaning a dumping site.

A Mamelodi East woman is fighting a lone battle to keep an open veld near her home clean seemingly against a tide of illegal dumpers.

Nombeko Mashele of Mamelodi East said her husband, a recycler, used the plot to sort his recyclables but since his death, locals had turned it into a dumpsite.

“I decided to clean the area because it didn’t sit well with me to see the place like it was,” said Mashele.

She said she wanted to grow vegetables on the plot to help the community and “turn an eyesore into a green healthy food garden” but seemed to be battling the odds.

“No sooner have I finished cleaning than there’s more litter.

ALSO READ: Desperation over illegal dumping on Delmas Road

“You wouldn’t say that the municipality has come a few times to help me clean up because there’s litter there than when I started cleaning.

“It took me more than two weeks to clear the piles of rubbish that were there before,” Mashele said.

She said people were dumping their rubbish at night.

“The work never ends because I have to clean up every day,” said Mashele.

She said she had tried to discourage residents from dumping including putting up a “no dumping area” sign.

“I even put one threatening to fine dumpers R1 000 but people still continue to dump,” she said.

“I involved the street committee because I thought residents would respect the people who are trying to keep us safe.

“Cleaning the area has become an even greater challenge because there is a rat infestation there now. I will need help to get rid of them and if possible, fence the area to prevent further dumping.”

ALSO READ: Put an end to illegal dumping

She said she was planning to approach the department of agriculture to ask for a seed sponsorship.

“I also don’t know what is the safe poison to kill the rodents.”

She said if her project became successful she would invite the elderly in the area to join her.

“Gardening is known to have health benefits.”

 

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  AUTHOR
Stephen Selaluke
Mamelodi journalist

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