Paarl pensioner Carolus Daniels couldn’t take the stench and ugly sight of the nearby illegal dumping site. He did a lot of thinking about what he could do, given that he’s a pensioner who can’t even afford a smartphone.

But some things are too important to ignore. He decided to use the little money he had to turn the place into a vegetable garden.

He used his pension money to buy cleaning chemicals and tools.

It took him a long time, but eventually he’d got rid of the garbage – and then he could start planting.

“Before then, we couldn’t even open the doors and windows, especially when it was hot,” said Daniels, 63. “The smell was unbearable.” He often spoke with those who were dumping rubbish but they couldn’t care and didn’t stop throwing their garbage onto the site.

The flourishing garden is now the pride of Paarl residents. “It is our job to make our areas clean all the time; we cannot complain about the municipality when we are the same people dumping rubbish in an illegal dumping site,” he said.

source: Scrolla – Carolus Daniels in the garden

His garden is attractive, and passersby stop and take pictures. “I was surprised to see the same people I was asking to stop dumping rubbish and taking pictures,” he said. “I look at them and wonder where they would take pictures if I hadn’t used my money to clean up their rubbish.”

Daniels spends most of his time in his garden. “This is my happy place. Every time I feel down, I come here and relax and talk with my flowers. The fresh smell and the beauty is therapeutic.”

He advises communities to take care of their areas. “The illegal dumping was bad for us, and it was dangerous for their children. We have seen children murdered and dumped in these places, and we must be careful.”

A resident couldn’t stop praising Daniels for taking his time cleaning the illegal dumping site. “I do not know how he did it. I salute the old man because no one ever thought that the place would become what it is today, something so attractive in the beautiful community, and we are grateful.”

Source: Scrolla

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