New Brighton Schools launch recycling, food security programme
The Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) launched the Green Schools Challenge, with nine participating New Brighton Schools at the Mendi Art Centre, at 9am on Friday, 30 September 2022. This initiative is a follow-up to an intensive five-day clean-up in May this year, when the private and public sector joined hands to combat illegal dumping in the area.
The Mandela Bay Development Agency has partnered with nine schools in the historic township to introduce food security through gardening, water conservation, recycling and waste management. The MBDA has empowered non-governmental organisation, Giving Them Wings Foundation, to facilitate the programme through capacity building workshops and weekly visits that comprise monitoring and evaluation of gardens and recycling and upcycling.
MBDA Operation Executive, Debbie Hendricks, said: “The agency’s development mandate is to transform our communities by facilitating valuable partnerships and forging new ideas. We have dedicated all necessary resources and skills to ensure the success of this initiative.”
Of the 17 schools in New Brighton, a strong criterion was applied to track the record of participation in other existing recycling programmes executed by The Waste Trade Company. The selected schools demonstrated active participation with proof of high learner involvement.
The nine schools are namely:
1. Cowan High School
2. Molefe Primary
3. Charles Duna Primary School
4. Phendla Primary
5. BJ Mnyanda Primary
6. Sophakama High School
7. Ethembelihle Comprehensive School
8. Newell High School
9. Samuel Nongongo Primary School
NMBM Deputy Executive Mayor, Mkhuseli Jack, said: “I support this Green School Challenge wholeheartedly; I want the youth of today to get the support they need to achieve the utmost success. This is preparing them to produce food for the country. We are going to source more funds for such initiatives, and if I remain in council till 2024 – there won’t be any litter on our streets.”
This competition is a platform for schools to showcase environmental awareness, thus exploring ways of being self-sufficient, innovative and reduce their carbon footprint. The sustainable gardens will significantly assist the Department of Education National School Nutrition Programme that provides one nutritious meal to all learners in disadvantaged primary and secondary schools.
Quarterly targets and milestones will be set for schools that will allow for:
- Organic food production;
- Successful and consistent recycling practice;
- New approaches to waste management at school level; and
- A broader understanding of the role township schools can play on climate change.
In 12 months’ time, the Green School Challenge winners will be announced in the featured categories for the Best Food Garden, Best Recycling Program and Best Innovation Project overall.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality’s (NMBM) Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) provided 18 EPWP workers. Thanks to corporate and public partners, each school will receive three waste recycling bins, a rainwater harvesting tank, vegetable seed bags, gardening starter packs, indigenous trees and a sizeable cash injection, with many more investors promising to pledge more resources.
This launch was made possible by MBDA’s collaborative efforts with Giving Them Wings Foundation, The Waste Trade Company, Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Department of the Public Health, Department of Basic Education, Isuzu, ABSA, Continental Tyres, Lotto Star and the Department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform.