Media Release: Stakeholders join hands for a clean Kruger
With its aim of building awareness about the dangers of litter to the environment, especially in a national park, the “Keep Kruger Clean” campaign has for the past four years, brought different stakeholders together to fight for a litter free Kruger National Park (KNP). This year is no different as KNP staff members, educators, school children and the media joined hands for a common purpose in this campaign and the event took place yesterday, 9 June 2010 at the Park’s Kruger Gate at 10:00.
Before the start of the formalities, staff members together with young people from the local communities, picked-up litter from outside Kruger Gate; 5km towards the Park. “I’m particularly very pleased to see the various sectors of society putting their weight together in support of this campaign today; we would like to urge every member of our society to make a commitment to “Keep the Kruger Clean”; said William Mabasa, the HOD: Public Relations during the event.
The event took place just a day before the 2010 World Cup kick-off and four days after the World Environmental Day. “Many people might not know, but Kruger is one of the first places that tourists wish to visit when they come to South Africa” continued Mabasa referring to Google’s aggregate research data which was released ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
As custodians of the park, the campaign has champions within the KNP who were identified in 2007 and are involved with various initiatives right through the park in an attempt to ensure that the Park is litter free. In 2008, young people from the communities around the park dubbed the “Steenboks” were also identified to carry the message of Keep Kruger Clean to everyone that enters the park and to their communities. The steenboks, who work voluntarily, work hand in hand with the KNP champions and their term of office is two years after which they graduate to become what we call the Junior Honorary Rangers or any other relevant initiatives.
The theme of the event this year is to highlight the importance of recycling of dirt and as such participants proceeded to Skukuza’s waste processing plant to witness some of the notable recycling initiatives currently taking in the Park. More awareness building materials such as brochures and rubbish bags with litter messages are handed to the guests upon entry to the park and there is increased signage on the roads in the park. Littering in the park is also an offence and anyone found littering in the park can receive a spot fine of up to R1 5000 if caught by an official or law enforcement officer.
“I would be much happier and look forward to see the Keep Kruger Clean project encouraging people to be responsible wherein they collect and separate litter in their communities. “We are therefore calling on everyone, communities, schools, religious institutions etc to make recycling part of their daily routine. The implementation of the initiatives mentioned above cannot provide the answer to a cleaner Kruger as the challenge lies with the attitudes and behaviours of residents and the public towards litter. People should change their perception about litter; the notion that “litter can create jobs” should not find space in the modern life that we live today. Let us keep the Kruger clean, Keep our Communities clean and keep our Country clean,” concluded Mabasa.
Laura Mukwevho, Media Relations Practitioner, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4262, cell: 082 807 1441or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
William Mabasa, HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park. Contact: Tel: (013) 735 4363, cell: 082 807 3919 or email: email@example.com