Youth organise cactus clean up in Windhoek

06 April 2017 | Agriculture

Rosalia Joseph, a Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) intern at the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), recently organise that a few young people to do a cactus clean up in Windhoek. She had volunteered for a Botanical Society cactus clean up before and, after reading about the efforts of Gunhild Voigts and her team, thought it would be a great idea to initiate her own campaign.

With the help of Gunhild, Rosalia chose a site next to Sam Nujoma Drive to work on. She was enthusiastically joined by her friends Mirjam Hauwanga and Howard Coetzee, who are NBRI interns from the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST). Her seniors at the NBRI thought it was a great idea and helped with the planning. Her target was to work with fellow students from NUST and UNAM and, with this in mind, Rosalia and Mirjam gave a presentation to students at NUST to raise awareness and encourage them to be part of the cactus campaign.

Despite not receiving any sponsorship for tools and other necessities, Rosalia made a plan. The City of Windhoek solid waste management department provided them with a skip and other necessities, while the Botanical Society provided other equipment. Thirteen volunteers took part, together with Men on the Side of the Road. The volunteers consisted of nature conservation students from NUST and environmental biology students from UNAM.

The clearing took five hours of hard labour and was done according to the standards needed to prevent further spreading of the invasive and dangerous alien plants.

The volunteers involved were Alexander Shikongo, Natalie Barry, Stephanie Schoombee, Laina Abiatar, Mirjam Hauwanga, Howard Coetzee, Jonas Ndeuludila, Leena Naftal, Ailla-Tessa Iiyambula, Regina Mwinga, Ndele Shipala, Albertina Fillipus and Rosalia Joseph.

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