Cacti gotta go

29 October 2018 | Environment

A successful cactus clean-up campaign was held in Sinclair Street in the capital last Saturday, where a number of NEWS members, staff from Matiti Safaris, BOTSOC members, cactus fighters, labourers and even two tourists helped get rid of these invasive plants.

Following the day of hard work, a skip provided by the municipality was filled to the brim.

However, the work on ridding the capital of invasive cacti continues as and when the group receives donations.

“The work just never ends,” says Gunhild Voigts, who spearheads the campaign. “The cacti grow continuously.”

People are often tempted to plant cacti in their gardens in a bid to save water while keeping things a little greener. However, several cactus species are highly invasive and any part of the plant that touches the ground anywhere, will root and grow.

In actual fact during a brief visit to Namibia in 2010, the world expert on the control of invasive cacti, Helmuth Zimmermann, counted 23 invasive cactus species here.

That is why Gunhild encourages everyone that walks by Sinclair Street and along the Hofmeyr trail – and elsewhere where the group operates – to pull out any cacti and toss it into a bin. “Better yet, if you have a lot, take it to the Eros landfill site where it will be covered with building rubble to make sure that the plants don’t survive.”

For more information or to make a donation to support the campaign, contact Gunhild at 081 208 5747 or [email protected]

For a list of the most invasive species, Google “Quickguide to invasive cacti in Namibia”.

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