As part of a social responsibility programme, staff and student volunteers from the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Department of Environmental Health partnered with the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) at the Riverlea Major Clinic for a clean-up initiative, on Saturday, 23 April 2016.
“We need to look after our environment, to ensure the health and safety of our communities, and to protect it for the current and future generation,” says Mrs Charlotte Mokoatle, Lecturer at the Department of Environmental Health. “Hence, our students joined the City of Johannesburg to clean up the waste accumulation in the Riverlea and surrounding areas.”
The clean-up initiative aims at creating awareness around responsible waste disposal. UJ’s Department of Environmental Health strengthened its collaboration with stakeholders as part of the Riverlea Community Engagement initiative of the Faculty of Health Sciences.
Mrs Mokoatle elaborated, “Students have experienced the concept of inter-sectoral collaboration towards a healthy environment, and they acquired the opportunity to participate in a community uplifting initiative, improving their social responsibility.”
Nthabeleng Papashane (19), a second year Environmental Health student shared her experience on working on the initiative. “Not only do I love a healthy environment but helping people gives me a sense of purpose in life.”
“It felt so great giving back to the community, because this is related to what I am studying. Illegal dumping should be avoided as it is a health hazard and affects the community and environment negatively,” added Karen Kahl (19), another second year Environmental Health student.