Tall Mpoppie: Penz Malinga
Environmental Champion – Ayanda Lipheyana
The community of Mpophomeni suffers daily from a plague of water problems such as water shortages, leaking water pipes and overflowing manholes. For this reason champions like Ayanda Lipheyana are a breath of fresh air. His love for the environment was nurtured during his studies in Environment Sciences and grew over the years when he volunteered for various causes.
Ayanda is currently employed by DUCT (Duzi Umngeni Conservation Trust) as an Environment Champion Co-ordinator with the Mpophomeni Sanitation Education Project. Some of his responsibilities are to co-ordinate the reporting of water leaks to prevent the wastage of potable water and report sewerage leaks that make their way into the streams.
Ayanda says: “The biggest environment problem that we are facing is the lack of freely available drinking water in the country. Millennium Development Goal no.7 states that we must ensure environmental sustainability and further, Target 7C states that by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation will be halved. To date nothing has changed much, the percentage of people without access to clean water has increased while South Africa as a whole does have abundant water resources, and the water is not clean.
Ayanda is a member of Mpophomeni Conservation Group and spends his spare time facilitating the Mpop Kidz Club. During weekends, he takes the young ones on outings to conduct biodiversity studies and water monitoring tests in the streams. “I love teaching these kids because I believe that with education Mpophomeni can be a better place for the future generation. It makes me happy to see how they think about the environment and are happy to take the responsibility of solving some environmental issues right here.”
People like Ayanda are instrumental in the community – they inspire and motivate people to be warriors that guard the Earth. “It is very important that we conserve and protect this precious resource, if we don’t most of the aquatic species will go extinct and future generations will not get a chance to experience the beauty of them.” he concludes.