In its effort to promote urban greening and enhance the local environment, the eThekwini Municipality’s South Durban Basin (SDB) Area Based Management (ABM) department has launched the greening and urban biodiversity project in Clairwood Secondary and the Durban South Girls Primary School.
The purpose of this initiative is to encourage biodiversity at the school level by upgrading green areas around the school using indigenous plants, implement a ‘food forest’ by developing a permaculture garden, plant fruit trees and erect rainwater harvesting tanks. The SDB ABM Communications Manager, Sifiso Xulu said our main objective is to raise awareness about the value and uniqueness of our biodiversity at a school level with the view to reach out to broader communities within the basin.Xulu said we want to restore our local indigenous species, educate learners about the value of trees in our lives and instill a culture of being environmentally conscious in general’.
He said ‘restoration and rehabilitation of green spaces within the school will form part of this project and fits within the broader Climate Change Initiative which was launched in 2010 as a response to climate challenges and opportunities within the basin’. Xulu stated that more than 50 learners from different grades have been trained on how to create garden beds by using permaculture principles. He mentioned that these learners were part of the school’s environmental club who will maintain and look after the gardens.After harvesting, learners will hold a mini market selling vegetables, indigenous plants and trees, added Xulu.
Gavin Stockden, the lead Permaculture trainer said that the 2-day Introduction to Permaculture Workshop held with learners from Clairwood High School on the 30th and 31st March, included topics such as biodiversity, the principles and zones of permaculture, water harvesting and storage. The fun and interactive session was well received, where learners learnt a lot while having fun at the same time.
The real gardening begins after the school holidays, when learners will prepare beds and plant a diverse range of food and other useful plants. Sessions will also begin at Durban South Girls Primary School in the first week of the new term.