Claiming back our title as cleanest city

19 September 2019 | Environment

Yolanda Nel Irritated by the litter spoiling the face of our city, this Windhoek resident decided that finger-pointing won’t solve any problems and that change can start with her.
Photos of Tertia Wannemacher of where she is busy cleaning at a busy intersection in the capital, have spread like wildfire on social media. “I love my city and I don’t want it to look dirty, especially amidst the drought,” she said.
Although the national clean-up campaign takes place on Saturday, Tertia says she didn’t plan her initiative along with the initiative. It was while cleaning at the museum with her daughter recently, that she realized the problem is much bigger than she initially thought.
To help make a change, Tertia is paying unemployed persons out of her own pocket – not just to clean the city, but also in an effort to ease the high unemployment rate. “It not impossible to have a cleaner city and to implement sustainable change. But we can’t point fingers if we are not willing to make a difference ourselves,” she says.
At the moment Tertia is in the process of registering a non-profit organisation, Now4Nam, in an effort to gain sponsorships to help pay those who are helping with the clean-up work. “We need to instil pride in our city,” Tertia says.
She believes that we can’t pray for rain if we are not willing to look after the environment we live in. “How can we expect rain if we are wasting and throwing our trash on the ground?”
She says there are many heroes in the city and it would be great if everyone gets together to help eradicate the problem.
Her vision for the Robert Mugabe Avenue / Andimba Toivo ya Toivo intersection, is colourful bougainvillas to lift everyone’s spirits. “But we also know we need water-wise plants, so we are also contemplating aloes,” she says.
Tertia, who is a teacher, would love to get schools involved by challenging each other in a bid to clean different areas.
She hopes that momentum is not lost after the clean-up campaign on Saturday. “We need to work together constantly to clean our city. It’s not a once-off project. It needs to continue.”

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