In an effort to keep the environment clean, hundreds of pupils from Mitchell’s Plain primary schools rolled up their sleeves and took part in a beach cleaning campaign held at Strandfontein on Saturday May 28.
More than 150 pupils from Hillside and Eisleben primary schools went out in chilly weather to pick up rubbish which littered the beach.
Organiser Greg Player, said the main objective of the clean-up was to protect the environment and educate pupils about its importance.
“We’ve been doing this for the past six years. And we are working together with the primary schools in Cape Town in an effort to keep our environment and beaches clean.
“We clean up about 16 different beaches on the first Saturday of every month,” said Mr Player.
He said they also do community clean-ups as well. “We educate (the pupils) on how to keep our environment clean, like telling them to stop throwing dirt in the drains because it will block it and to stop throwing rubbish in the sea to avoid animals living in the sea from eating the rubbish,” he said.
Mr Player also emphasised that they want pupils to take the initiative and become responsible in their communities. “We tell the children that every day they must pick up at least three objects and put them in a bin. And that will make our communities look clean. There will be no bottles or papers around. And we need that to be fun but educational as well,” said Mr Player, adding that they also try to raise awareness about recycling.
A Grade 6 pupil from Hillside Primary School, Massino Swart, 11, described the event as an eye-opener for him and vowed to do it again if there was a chance. “I’m so delighted. It’s my first time doing something like this. And I think it’s very important to clean our beach to prevent animals from eating plastics and other stuff. And also stop people from getting sick,” he said.
His classmate, Cherkira Dyers, 11, pleaded with residents to stop polluting the environment because of the harmful effect it can have on the environment and animals who are living in the sea.
Sinelethu Gqola, a Grade 7 pupil from Eisleben Primary, said the event taught her a lot about nature conversation and also vowed to pass the knowledge that she learnt to her friends. “Now I know that it is wrong to just throw papers and bottles on the ground. We must put them in a bin to protect the environment, and by doing that it helps animals, plants and sea animals not to die,” she said.
Hillside Primary School teacher Shannon Solomons told Plainsman: “We have already started an environmental club that will focus on cleaning and the pupils responded very well and are so excited and willing to be part of it.”
Eisleben Primary School teacher Soeraya Deal praised the event, saying: “I think it is very important to teach our children to appreciate nature,” she said.
Ms Deal said about70 pupils in grades 5 to 7 at Eisleben Primary had attended the event.