A dumping site in Breidbach, which caused nightmares for residents, has now been transformed into a fruit and vegetable garden.
Garden of Hope, as the area is now called, is situated close to the banks of the Yellow Woods River.
David Pieterson, the brainchild of the project, lives directly opposite the garden and told the Go! & Express how frustrated he had become after he always had to pick refuse and litter which was dumped outside his home.
“The municipality came once to clean the area but it was not long before the community again started dumping which irritated and frustrated me.
“It became an ideal breeding place for reptiles such as snakes, rats and scorpions,” Pieterson said.
“The terrible smell of used baby napkins and dead animals also became a serious health risk and was the main reason I decided to convert it into a garden.”
Pieterson said he called the nearby residents for a meeting, shared his idea and received the go-ahead.
Many residents also volunteered their services to assist with the garden.
Neighbour Simon Ruiters recalled an incident when a fight nearly started after he informed residents carrying wheelbarrows of rubbish not to dump at the spot.
“They continued, totally ignored me and when I approached them they wanted to fight.
“Since this garden has started, we are no longer experiencing incidents of that kind anymore,” Ruiters said.
Esmerelda Russion, another resident staying close to the garden, said they benefitted a lot from the garden.
“We are eating healthy and fresh vegetables from the garden which is such a blessing to all of us here,” Russion said.