SEED has become known locally for our success in cholera prevention and general health education. As such, in October 09 we were invited to take part in a massive clean-up operation in one large high density suburb: Mabvuku / Tafara. This was a partnership event coordinated by Circle Cement (a large company employing many local people) and involving other companies (e.g. Econet, Delta Beverages, Lobels, Spar), NGOs (e.g. Environment Africa, SEED), Mabvuku/Tafara City Council, as well as the Ministries of Health, Environment & Tourism, and Health & Child Welfare.
The aim of the campaign was to clean up both Mabvuku and Tafara areas - removing the rubbish that had accumulated whilst refuse collections were inadequate. It was important to do this before the commencing of the rainy season, which was expected to re-trigger the cholera pandemic.
2000 volunteers were mobilized, of whom 75-80% were local residents. SEED took part with the volunteers from our health education campaign. With the help of brooms, bins, shovels, wheelbarrows and the odd truck, the whole day exercise was a great success. It was fantastic to see so many stakeholders working together for a common cause.
There was an education and sustainability element as well. Mabvuku residents were informed about the importance of keeping their environment clean in the fight against cholera. They learned that if they sorted their rubbish they could use biodegradables for compost, which would both help them in their agricultural production, and dramatically reduce the volume of refuse for the council to collect. The council provided the area with dustbins, which it promised to collect regularly. All stakeholders pledged to play their part in taking joint responsibility for the environment of the area.
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