Cleaning the land, learning to recycle

Some seventy learners from Otjiwarongo Secondary School; Donatus Secondary School and Spes Bona Primary School joined a crew of the Cheetah Conservation Fund last week to remove the garbage littering a section of the road near the Otjiwarongo dump site. This road is the only access from Otjiwarongo to the CCF’s headquarters and it was literally overrun by waste. The CCF used the opportunity to improve the visual attractiveness of the road and to teach the learners about littering, the dangers of waste pollution, and the benefits or recycling.

What to do when you are a leading ecological research institution but the road leading to your farm is littered with garbage? Why, you clean it up yourself, of course.

This is exactly what the Cheetah Conservation Fund did last week to remove the eyesore next to the road leading from Otjiwarongo to their headquarters on the CCF farm.
The fund organised an Otjiwarongo dump road clean-up day, calling on the assistance of some 70 Otjiwarongo learners from various schools. During the clean-up day, the area along the D2440 road was cleaned as the first section of this road passes the Otjiwarongo dump site from where garbage is blown by the wind, eventually turning the whole area into a horrible sight. This road it the only road to the CCF headquarters, an internationally recognised research and education centre, and well-known tourist destination, with the aim to save the cheetah and their ecosystems.
Over 8500 visitors come to the CCF annually, and the severe environmental pollution is their first impression as they leave Otjiwarongo and drive to the CCF farm. The clean-up day is a start to involve the local community to help keep the D2440 clean so that local and international visitors get a good impression of their time in the Otjiwarongo area. In addition, the aim of the clean-up day “was to raise awareness about environmental pollution, recycling, and environmental education and to engage and interest people in environmental protection campaigns” said Dr. Laurie Marker, the CCF’s founder and Executive Director.
During the clean-up over 400 bags of trash were collected. The CCF said in a statement it would like to acknowledge and appreciate the sponsors for this event comprising Rent-A-Drum, Otjiwarongo Town Council, Medikor Pharmacy Otjiwarongo, Badenhorst Pharmacy Otjiwarongo, FabuPharm Otjiwarongo, Vermona Supermarket in Otjiwarongo, and CCF’s Bushblok. “CCF would also like to appreciate the following schools for their participation in this event, Otjiwarongo Secondary School; Donatus Secondary School and Spes Bona Primary School.
The clean-up day was organised by the CCF’s, Sem Uutoni, a graduate in community development from the Polytechnic.