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Teaming up with the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, local environmentalist Raymond Langa, based near St Lucia, recently held a sport event during which local communities were educated on the importance of wetlands and how they help sustain the natural environment.
The iSimangaliso and Dukuduku sport tournament was hosted at the Nyamazaneni sports ground in Khula Village, which borders the southern section of the iSimangaliso World Heritage Site, and was the final in a round of games.
The event was organised by Langa, who felt it would be an ideal opportunity to share the message of conservation and environmental care which are so important to him.
The teams – soccer for boys and netball for girls – consisted of community members from eZwenelisha, Dukuduku and Khula Village.
At the end of the exhilirating tournament, Sweepers Football Club (FC) from Dukuduku emerged victorious in the soccer event, while Buffalo Ladies Netball Club from Khula Village took home the netball trophy.
M Mthembu of Sweepers FC was awarded the Man of the Match award, while the Woman of the Match trophy was awarded to S Mdletshe from Buffalo Ladies Netball Club.
‘I have gained more than I was expecting to from today’s game. I learned the importance of iSimangaliso and why the youth should protect the environment,’ said one participant at the end of the tournament.
‘I am always frustrated by the environmental degradation activities taking place in areas of conservation significance,’ said Langa.
‘My area has many wetlands with an abundance of wildlife, seasonal birds and waterfowl.
‘I have identified one area which is very significant to the entire village, but households living next to it dump all types of filth into it.’
Langa also hosted a workshop surrounding sustainable tourism and urged local schools to promote environmental health.