Date:22 December 2016 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Traditional leaders from around the province highlighted the problem of illegal dumping of especially disposable nappies in villages, during a recent two-day Natural Resources Management Capacity Building Programme that was held at the Matsila Guest House.
Former Premier of KwaZuluNatal Dr Zweli Mkhize urged traditional healers not to chop down indigenous trees for herbs. He also encouraged poor communities to start community bakeries, brick making and other projects in order to create jobs. “Traditional leaders should work hand in hand with ward councillors to ensure better service delivery and people should stop vandalising properties. The burning down of more than 20 schools in the Vuwani area was a shining example of what needs to be ended in terms of vandalism. As leaders of the communities, traditional leaders should unite the people and stop tribalism, so we all work towards the development and bettering of our society,” Mkhize said.
The director of the Vuvha-based Dzomo la Mupo Project, Mphatheleni Makaulule, said traditional leaders should stop the deforestation that is rife in villages. This deforestation, she explained, contributes to the communities' being left without a source of water because springs and wells dry up as a result of deforestation. “We have built a nursery of indigenous trees and we want to plant them on the banks of the rivers, schools, traditional leaders’ offices, and in townships, ” Makalule said.
Chief Livhuwani Matsila said most of the rivers were polluted by disposable nappies which then flowed down the rivers to dams, causing a health risk to all the communities. The contamination of drinking water in the dams may lead to a cholera outbreak, which is of grave concern to the traditional leaders, while mosquitoes coming from the waste may cause illness such as malaria.
He said it was the responsibility of traditional leaders and the community to embark on an Adopt a River Programme, a clean-up campaign where all dumped nappies and waste should be removed from rivers and dams.
The workshop is a flagship project supported by the Department of Environmental Affairs, with a vision to inculcating a culture of responsibility and accountability for the management of natural resources among traditional leaders as primary and chief land users in rural areas. It is a three-year programme and the implementing agent appointed by the Department of Environmental Affairs is Livhuwani Matsila and Associates.
Chief Livhuwani Matsila, Dr Zweli Mkhize, Thovhele Vho-Vele Kutama and Aaron Mahuwani, photographed after the seminar .
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.