Cleaning up Victoria Falls


Posted: 24 July 2003

Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a world heritage site will be cleaned up and cleared of noxious weeds as part of the 2003 Clean Up the World campaign.

In support of the International Year of Freshwater, activities across Africa will focus on cleaning up rivers, water supplies, wells, drains and gutters in an effort to improve the quality of water and prevent disease.

Now in it's 11th year, the Australian-based Clean Up the World campaign mobilises over 40 million volunteers from more than 128 countries each year. The campaign, held in conjunction with the UN Environment Programme, is a year-round effort encouraging and inspiring local communities to clean up, fix up and conserve their environment.

Held on 19-21 September, the 2003 weekend will unite millions of people in communities around the world to take practical action to combat polluted waterways, declining water quality and the increasing mountains of packaging waste such as plastic bags and bottles.

Across Africa

The Founder and Chairman of the campaign, Ian Kiernan, who as a loan sailor was horrified by the littered state of the seas, urged individuals, groups and communities to register free as a member of Clean Up the World by visiting

"The environment knows no boundaries. We share the same oceans and the same air - which is why it is essential we all unite and take action to improve the state of our earth" he said.

Activities planned in Africa include two in Egypt, where the organisers are in the second phase of a project called "Environmental Street". Phase two will see five new cities launch a street that embodies environmental principles and acts as an environmentally friendly model for other streets to follow.

Also in Egypt, the Maadi Environmental Rangers plan to remove rubbish from a large drainage canal in southeast Cairo. This ongoing activity includes the planting of a public garden on the banks of the canal and 200 volunteers from the Rotary Club of South Cairo and local community will assist.

River clean-up

In Ghana. organisers are co-ordinating 'Clean Up Volta,' an ongoing programme where community members clean their immediate environment daily to protect people from mosquitoes and other insects.

Local members of the Hohoe township plan to sweep and de-silt gutters along main roads and remove rubbish from the river Dayi, the main source of drinking water for the community.

In Kenya, a plastic bag collection competition will be held in 10 schools across Kenya. Coordinated by the Malindi Green Town Movement, a prize will be awarded to the student with the most plastic bags.

In Kenya's Eastern Province a group of youths are running a programme to clean up the Aberdares forest by planting trees and removing rubbish from rivers running through the forest.

Twelve Nigerian states will participate in a clean up of rivers, roads, schools and market places coordinated by The National Centre for Youth Development and in South Africa - participants will work to improve the look of their city by removing rubbish from four main roads, the Schoonspruit River, and holding Clean Up programmes at 25 schools in the area.

Other projects are planned in Uganda, Zambia and in Zimbabwe where volunteers hope to restore the Mukuvisi River to its natural state by planting native trees, and removing car wrecks and garbage.

Related link: Clean up the World