Media Release: Kruger National Park stakeholders clean to connect to mother nature
06 June 2017
Kruger National Park (KNP) in partnership with Total South Africa held the “Keep Kruger Clean” (KKC) campaign at Welverdiend, a village outside Orpen Gate as part of the World Environmental Day (WED) celebrations yesterday, June 6, 2017. The aim of this campaign is to educate and create awareness about the danger of spoiling the environment such as the national parks and other habitats.
“This year’s theme connecting people to nature encourages human beings to cherish the close relationship they have with nature. Our ecosystems are sensitive and must be preserved. We need various species of flora and fauna in their original state for them to maintain a healthy and balanced environment; which includes the things on which they depend on to survive such as soil, river or stream”, said the Acting KNP Managing Executive, Lucy Nhlapo.
The World Environment Day was declared by the United Nations general assembly in Stockholm in 1972 and is celebrated annually on 5 June, with Canada as the host this year. In the KNP, the event is always linked with the Keep Kruger Clean (KKC) campaign, which was launched in 2006 and still on.
Nhlapo also pointed to the stakeholders, that, visiting the National Parks including the KNP and other tourist attractions found in the country offers many benefits as there is so much to explore. “We have the wilderness trails which some regard as places they get close to nature for restoration of body and soul, people can go on self/guided game drives and spot those rare animals, just driving around the Park and taking photos of wildlife can do wonders. Even at home, spend some time outdoors getting fresh air instead of sitting indoors chatting on social media”
The KKC campaign has allowed stakeholders including school kids from the neighbouring communities to take part by collecting litter in areas outside the Park’s entrance gates. With Total SA as a dedicated sponsor, awareness building materials such as brochures and rubbish bags with litter messages continue to be handed out to guests on daily basis upon entry to the park.
“The Keep Kruger Clean initiative, enables us to influence ecological responsible lifestyle choices which can help to protect the environment and ensure we sustain its natural resources for current and future generations to enjoy,” explained Nyameka Makonya, CSI Manager at Total South Africa. “Our commitment to conservation continues even beyond World Environmental Day. Through our investment in sustainable initiatives such as the flagship nature conservation programmes, ‘Walk and Learn on the Wildside’, ‘Keep Kruger Clean and Kids in Kruger’, we continue to make a tangible difference.”
The morning programme included picking up of litter on the roads, veld and in the seasonal streams which lead up to the Park from Welverdiend. The role players who participated in the Keep Kruger Clean campaign were Welverdiend Community, SANParks - Biodiversity Social Project (BSP) - Working for Fire, Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, Kruger to Canyon Biosphere Reserve (K2C), DARDLEA, SAPS, Local Traditional Leadership, Singita Safari Lodge and IUCMA.
The KNP Acting Managing Executive, Lucy Nhlapo gave a key note address at the formal celebrations on behalf of KNP Management (with her is Jeremiah Machavi, KNP People and Conservation Officer – Marula North) whilst Total SA’s Nyameka Makonya also did the same.
Other stakeholders such as the Local Traditional Leadership, Bushbuckridge Local Municipality, Department of Agriculture, rural development, Land and Environmental Affairs and South African Police Services, also gave words of support at the celebrations.
Learner Generosa Machavi from Mahlekisana Primary School renders a poem – urging the community to not litter the environment.
The KNP’s Voices of the Wild entertained the crowd.
Welverdiend community members came in numbers to learn how to connect to nature - from the young ones to the senior citizens.
South African National Parks - Kruger National Park. Communications & Marketing Department
SANParks Acting Head of Communications
Tel: 012 426 5170, cell: 082 807 3919