Stop Cacti from taking over the city of windhoek

Let's fight the cacti together...

Message from Gunhild Voigts, founder of Cactus Clean-Up.!GV small.jpg

We all, you and me have to take responsibility for our environment into our own hands, no one does it for us. All sorts of invasive cacti are taking over our entire environment in Windhoek and spreading throughout our country at an incredibly rapid pace. These plants can hurt and kill wildlife and domestic animals. We will end with impenetrable cactus thicket deserts taking over our habitat. If we want to prevent an entire collapse of our own vegetation, we all together have to handle this problem urgently and as fast as possible.

IMG_20190102_122608.jpg Aloes losing their habitat.

And the fastest and most effective way to do it is to get active our self personally. All of us residents together should take out our rakes and cardboard boxes and eradicate every single cactus where ever we spot it. Each eradicated cactus buried under several meters of building rubble can not multiply any more. If we prefer to employ a jobless worker to do it for us, we will find them at the street side everywhere. And this is exactly what Friedhelm & Gunhild with their Cactus Clean Up initiative are doing. When ever someone pays money into the Cactus Clean Up account we use it to offer N$ 140,- to jobless workers from the street side for one day´s work. From our own pocket we supply them with some of the tools, sandwiches, coffee and take them home after work.

IMG_20181104_132835.jpg Friedhelm and Percy loading eradicated cacti.

We urgently need support by release of safe enemy insects that kill the cacti by feeding on them. But even when the cactus finally may have died, it still has to be removed physically. These insects will help to bring down the speed of vegetation conversion. cochineal-insect.jpg

! IMG_20180914_171952.jpg Insects feeding on opuntias.

We do not recommend poisoning as it is done in Australia although it may be effective. But it is extremely expensive and has to be repeated annually for five years to reach all regrowth from seeds. And again, all dead cacti will have to be removed physically. On top the chemicals would over time reach the Windhoek Aquifer and that is our ´bank for palatable water´for our Capital.

IMG_20190103_103354.jpg Poisoning cacti.

So let us join hands to save our habitat! Kill the cacti where ever you find them! Handle them with long handles on your tools and never ever touch them except at their roots, they hurt badly. They should be disposed off in a safe manor at Eros landfill site. To have them mixed with domestic waste would mean planting them at Kupferberg. If you spot a ´´Cactus Skip´´ or a cactus heap at the street side you may place your cacti on top and we will ask City of Windhoek to handle them for us. Let us fight the cacti together! 
For more information contact or 0812085747