With no real infrastructure to manage waste, residents of many rural towns are neither motivated nor educated about why they shouldn’t litter. As a result, many towns, like our neighboring town of Maungu, are overburdened by noncompostable trash thrown in the streets. Part of Wildlife Works’ community education initiative focuses on teaching students how to reuse and recycle plastic items.
On Oct 27th, duty called upon the residents of Maungu to join hands and remove all the polythene paper bags and plastic containers that constantly build up around the town. Wildlife Works and Marungu Hill Conservancy organize an event each year to ensure that the town is clean, and all the plastic containers are recycled into usable objects.
This year our rangers joined in to provide security and assist the students from various schools and community members in their efforts.
Students were divided into groups and assigned different areas of the town to clean. Participants worked with gloves and rakes to remove the unsightly plastic debris, while fierce winds blew papers around and covered the workers’ faces with dust. Those who live in Maungu develop camel-like lashes to keep sand away from the eyes and special salivary glands to sieve sand out of the mouth. The work may seem tedious, but the volunteers were not discouraged.
The townspeople finished up the hard work just after noon, and gathered to relax and enjoy soda and half cake. Students entertained everyone with plays and poems about keeping the town clean.
Christine, who handles waste management for Wildlife Works, gave a speech on the importance of recycling waste products into useable items.
The students also enjoyed learning how to make a homemade hand washing station by attaching a bar of soap and a reusable plastic container to a stick held up by two larger sticks planted in the ground. The stations looked similar to a cooking spit and provided everyone with a place to clean their hands.