EXTRAORDINARY DEEDS DONE BY EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN
*Caption: A before and after picture of the illegal dump site after being revamped into a park by Imbumba YeMbokodo.
Written by: Mfundo Mabaso
Imbumba Yembokodo is driven by a group of women, in partnership with the eThekwini Municipality, who revamp illegal dumping sites into play parks in the eThekwini region.
Their work to date has been truly outstanding and they are not done yet. With more projects driven by these hardworking ladies, a cleaner and greener eThekwini region is what you must look out for.
JournalismIziko got an opportunity to have an interview with Imbumba YeMbokodo , where we got to know more about their initiative.
1) How did this initiative/idea come about?
We came together as a group of young women when we saw that there were a lot of community issues that needed to be dealt with so we sat down and decided which one needs the most attention. We realized that cleanliness was one of the major issues that needed attention.
2) Who is the brain behind this idea?
It’s something that we had been spoken about as a team and we then approached the Ethekwini Municipalities HOD of PRC Mr Thembinkosi Ngcobo, he then shared his vision with us and we decided to begin implementing it as a pilot project in Kwamashu in May. It proved to be very successful!
3) By starting this initiative, what was the main aim and what goals were you guys hoping to achieve?
The main aim was to promote a cleaner and greener environment, we also wanted to educate people about the importance of cleanliness and taking care of the environment they live in whilst promoting healthy living and equipping them with skills to also make a living for themselves.
4) Has there been any negative feedback that Imbumba has received from any community?
So far the community has been very supportive, each time we go to build a park we look for volunteers within the community who always come out in numbers just to give their time without any monetary expectations. The feedback has been positively overwhelming.
5) How has the experience of this initiative been?
It’s been very rewarding for us, the transformation is truly fulfilling and even more fulfilling is the excitement and happiness on the children’s faces as well as their parents and other community members.
Because the process happens in just one day some people go to work and come back to a whole new cleaner and liveable space.
6) How many dumping sited has Imbumba revamped?
We started in Kwamashu and it was a success, we therefore embarked on a project to convert 10 Parks in 10 days and we did this successfully so in total it’s 11 parks to date.
7) What challenges do you guys face as women in this initiative?
Our greatest challenge is being taken seriously in the environmental sector and not just young women who are beautiful and can’t handle manual labour.
8) Any other new project coming up soon?
Yes, we are starting a project where we will be building 100 Parks for this financial year and this will be done in 20 districts. We are also looking at cleaning up the Cato Manor area, we saw it as one of the dirtiest areas and that need our attention.
9) Do you feel that Imbumba Yembokodo still has a lot to offer in the eThekwini region, Why do you say so?
We have a lot to offer and it’s only the beginning, we see ourselves bringing about a great change in South Africa as a whole.
10) Finally, what is the vision for Imbumba YeMbokodo
Imbumba seeks to create a cleaner and more beautiful City of Durban by 2021 and we also want to have the opportunity to create a more beautiful country in general.