Approximately 230 learners from 15 schools in and around Port Elizabeth joined the World Environment Day beach clean-up festivities at Well Estate Beach. The educational initiative was part of The Go Green Climate Change Advocacy Programme – Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s (NMBM) environmental education initiative co-funded by the Department of Environment Affairs and the NMBM.

Squeals of excitement could be heard for miles as learners in the Nelson Mandela Bay were treated to a morning of fun, laughter and environmental education for World Environment Day. Leaners made their way to Wells Estate Beach where they were met by the Go Green roadshow and facilitator teams.

An informative talk about the Go Green campaign and the importance of looking after the environment was given by the Go Green team and after the educational session, learners were invited to hit the beach for the clean-up. Around 80 bags of litter were collected in an hour, leaving the beach spotless for residents and the public alike. The learners were provided with Go Green t-shirts, backpacks as well as a healthy lunch pack.  There were also prizes from the roadshow crew for the team that collected the most waste and also for those that could answer questions on the environmental messages that were relayed on the day.  The learners were very enthusiastic throughout the proceedings and the song item rendered by Loyiso High school – Enviro Day song as well as the poem rendered by Ndyebo High school enthralled all present at the Environmental Day celebrations as it reflected on the state of the environment and the key role each and every one has to play.  The message from Portfolio Councillor Ndlovu. “On this World Environment Day – we as the NMBM will ensure that we continue to play our role in raising our voices about climate change and thereby ensuring that we do not further contribute to the rising sea levels as per the theme of World Environment Day 2014 – “Raise your voice – not the sea level”.  The messages of the Go Green campaign are directly aligned to this theme and we need to ensure that we continue advocating these messages.  By involving you the youth / learners in this World Environment Day programme today we are hoping to empower young people and their communities to develop programmes and actions to address these serious socio-economic and environmental issues.  If we all take action today – we will ensure that we leave a positive legacy for our future generations.”

The schools that participated in the Wells Estate Beach clean-up were Littleflower Primary school, Uitenhage; Steven Nkomo Primary school, Uitenhage; Coega Primary School, Wells Estate; Ndyebo high school, Motherwell; Ikhwezelihle Primary school, Motherwell; Mzimhlophe Primary school, Zwide; Isaac Booi Primary school, Zwide; Mnqophiso Primary school, Zwide; Loyiso high school, Zwide; Chubekile high school, Kwa – zakhele; Qaphelani high school, Kwa – zakhele; Seyisi Primary school, Kwa – zakhele; Kwa – Ford Primary, New Brighton; Kleinskool  Primary school, Kleinskool; and Triomf  Primary school, Northern Areas.

For more information about the Go Green Climate Change Advocacy Programme, members of the public are invited to contact NMBM Communications.

About the Go Green Climate Change Advocacy Programme:

The programme seeks to:

  1. Raise awareness about climate change and service delivery issues related to water, energy, waste, hygiene, environmental well-being and sustainable transport;
  2. To enhance non-formal education programs through media, networking and partnerships;
  3. Build awareness of the causes and effects of climate change;
  4. Mobilize NMBM businesses, households and stakeholders to take action and change behaviour;
  5. Unite the Municipality with civil society to save the future by taking action of their behaviour now; and
  6. To mobilize NMBM residents to be the eyes and ears of the Municipality when illegal activities occur that impact communities and surroundings.

The campaign focusses on five key action themes:

  1. POWER WISEConserving Energy – emissions from coal-fired power stations and transport are the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions in this country. Conserving electricity and switching to public transport is critical to achieving our mitigation goals.
  2. WATER WISEConserving Water – South Africa is a water scarce country, and our fresh water resources are under stress. Climate Change will exacerbate this situation and conserving water is a vital tactic for making the country more climates resilient.
  3. WASTE WISEReduce, reuse and recycle waste – minimization and proper management of our wastes both reduces greenhouse gas emissions and conserves forests, which absorb carbon dioxide.
  4. POLLUTION WISE – Air and water pollution management – We need to ensure clean air / water and to maintain the air / water quality for future generations. This is done by monitoring the environment, controlling the release of air / water pollutants, giving advice and taking action against those who pollute.
  5. CONSERVATION WISEPlant indigenous trees, start a vegetable garden – food gardens promote food security and poverty alleviation. Planting indigenous trees and clearing alien invader plants restores natural eco-systems and conserves water. Consume Responsibly – goods and services that are environmentally friendly and locally produced will usually have a lower carbon footprint than imported, and buying locally creates jobs.