Love your environment.

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Mr Mlondi Cele lives in close proximity to an illegal communal rubbish dump that exists and has flourished because for years the rubbish truck did not drive on his street on collection day, the street had been previously inaccessible because one of the RDP houses was built smack bang in the middle of the street blocking access also the road was too narrow and overgrown. He also lives in close proximity of a manhole that is constantly surcharging with sewerage right on the uMthinzima stream, which has become a great contributor of raised E-coli levels in Midmar Dam.

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Baba Cele is one of the Mpophomeni Sanitation Education Project (MSEP) environment champions employed by the Duzi Umngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT) to monitor the spilling manholes, illegal dumping and to educate people regarding why these problems occur and to find out what can be done to reduce or stop these problems.

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Baba Celes’ interest in these issues started long before the inception of the MSEP project in 2011. He likes to live in a clean healthy environment free from rubbish and the stench of sewerage, so he was very active in engaging with the municipal councillors and bringing up the issues during community meetings which he still attends religiously.

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In his spare time he doubles as a handyman, tilling people’s homes and spends much of his time doing his garden next to the stream, where he is making good use of the floodplain opposite his house. “ I grew up in this area when it was still beautiful, the rivers were intact, the view of the hills were marvellous, it would be nice to see Mpophomeni return to its former glory and be clean and beautiful again” said Mr Cele. He also added that if you love yourself, your environment should reflect the love you have for it. He has much pride and joy in his Kids Club “The Cheetahs’ led by one of his daughters Nomcebo joined by other children from the neighbourhood. He hopes to inspire the neighbours and their children to leave in a beautiful environment.

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Umtshitshi wasemathafeni.

Leucosidea sericea
Amagama ajwayelekile: Ouhout, Zulu: Umtshitshi, Sotho: Cheche

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Ngaphambi kobuba kuzinze Laba abaphuma eYorophu emathafeni ase midlands, yayimibalwa kakhulu imithi ngaphandle kwaleyo ehlangene ndawonye ezindaweni ezimanzi kanye nalezo ezisemadwaleni. Omunye wemithi eyavela eMidlands kwaba iLecosidea Sericia umtshitshi. Ingomunye wemithi ekwazi ukumila kuqala ivule indlela yokuthi neminye imithi ilandele futhi itholakala ezindaweni ezihlukahlukene.

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Lemithi iyatholakala emathafeni akhona la Mpophomeni, lapho Uyithola ikhula neminye imithi njengo Mlahlankosi. Uyithola iyihlahlana esifushanyana esiyisixhanti futhi ayijwayele ukukhula idlule amamitha ayisithupha. Inamaqabunga aluhlaza okusampunga anuka kamnandi, izimbali zayo ezikhangayo, ezincanyana eziphuzi okusaluhlazana zikhula kwimikhawulo yamagatsha. Amagxolo aso awekho bushelelezi ngathi amaflakes.

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Lomuthi awulithandi ihlobo elishisayo kodwa uyakwazi ukumelana nongqoqwane, nesithwathwa ingakho ungawuthala ukusungula insimui entsha ebandayo ngoba siyashesha ukukhula. Izinyoni zijwayele ukwakha izidleke emagatsheni kanti amaqabunga awo adliwa imbabala bushbuck.

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Lomuthi muhle kakhulu ukubasa umlilo ngoba awushi ngokushesha, abanye bawusebenzisela ukubaza kanye nokwakha izinqola ezithutha utshani noma ezokuvuna. Ezindaweni eziyizintaba ukuba khona kwalomuthi kade phambilini kukhombisa ukuthi imifula yangakhona ingafakwa izinhlanzi ezibizwa nge trout.

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Mpophomeni Film, The Making

On this day last week MCG got the wonderful opportunity to make a film on all the magic that is going on in Mpophomeni. The film crew from N3TC Toll Concession Pty Ltd was taken on tour around our one year old but splendid garden by Nomfundo Myeni deemed Garden Queen for the day and were highly impressed by the wonderful work that has taken place in the short space of twelve months. “The aim is to help everyone in the community to make better decisions regarding sourcing food, clothes, energy and building materials with great emphasis placed on the benefits of using local.”

r one year old garden august 2015

The garden looked amazing for the cameras after the little bit of rain that we received last week. Nomfundo explained our permaculture gardening principles, the importance of companion planting to make the garden pest free. Penz Malinga shared some of her salad recipes that require the use of calendula flowers and shared a bit about Muthi (medicine) plants found in the garden.

Hleziphe and Nelly were there to demonstrate how to use iSitofu and the Wonderbag, products that MCG are agents to sell to people in and around the township. Hleziphe the Seedling Queen was more than happy to share what goes on during her daily routine with the volunteers and to demonstrate the propagation of seedlings in our creative nursery.

hleziphe in nursery

Lindiwe Mkhize shared her passion for the Kids Club the value of teaching children good environment practises and inspiring children to love the environment they live in. “MCG believes that learning from members of one’s own community, who really care about the wellbeing of the community, has a great impact. Mpop Kidz Club meets on Saturday mornings to explore Mpophomeni, monitor the streams, grassland and forest and create useful items from waste.”

penz lindz vicky

Penz the Water Queen shared her knowledge about the conservation of water and dreams of drinking from the streams in twenty years’ time. This will be possible only if education continues throughout the community and everyone adopts their little piece of the stream to keep free of solid waste. “In collaboration with the DUCT Mpophomeni Sanitation Education Project Enviro Champs we encourage residents to take responsibility for reporting overflowing sewers and monitoring the condition of the streams near their homes.MiniSASS is a very useful tool to measure water quality because it simple, cheap, efficient and anyone can do it. MCG continuously teach the community to do MiniSASS tests to empower everyone to contribute by adopting part of a river.”

Penz also mentioned the Owl Box Project that is in the pipeline, to combat the rat infestation that prohibits many people from maintaining productive gardens.

penz mhlanga stream

The film crew also visited Sifisesihle Primary School, one of the nine schools in Mpophomeni that MCG works with. One of our champion teachers Ms Ausy Mdladla, who is very passionate about environmental issues and gardening brought her whole class along to demonstrate their mulching techniques and show how much they really loved their garden, while Zamile Mtambo took the crew around the wonderful school garden while work was in progress.

zamile sifisesihle

MCG was very proud to show off the work they do in the community and their passion for the garden, environment and their hopes to build a better community. “We absolutely cannot wait to see the final product of the Mpophomeni Film. Mpophomeni Conservation Group is reaching such great heights in such a short space of time. Proof that hard work does pay off. “declared Nomfundo Myeni.

mcg n3tc garden