RDP recipients join race to save the planet

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Peddie - A group of RDP house recipients in the Eastern Cape have joined the fight to save the environment in the run-up to the COP17 climate change conference later this month.

Each recipient of one of 710 new houses built in Peddie, outside King Williamstown, today received a tree as part of a joint project by the departments of Human Settlements and International Relations and Cooperation.

"Each recipient in the housing project will receive a tree. It's very important that we educate people about how to take care of the environment. Providing them with these trees will be the first step," said Human Settlements MEC Helen Sauls-August.

A total of 1 000 trees were donated to the settlement, named 1420 because of the number of houses that will have been built there when the project is finally complete.

Sauls-August appealed to the residents to care for the trees as part of their contribution to saving the environment.

A group of 15 volunteers from the community, who received special training on climate awareness and environmental care, were appointed to assist the residents look after the trees.

"These volunteers were appointed to oversee the tree planting in the area. They have also been appointed for three years to assist residents," said Sauls-August.

She said it is part of African culture "to clean and take care of things" and expressed hope that with the correct training and education, that attitude would also extend to the environment.

Ward 10 Councilor Nombulelo Sesman said those who received trees also attended a workshop to be taught not only how to take care of their homes, but the environment as well.

"We need to educate everyone, especially the children, on the importance of taking care of the environment, particularly in the run-up to the climate change conference," said Sesman.