Environmental planning to protect our natural habitats

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We live in a time where it has become necessary to preserve our environment for future generations. Environmental planning provides win-win solutions for society and the environment so that everyone benefits.

One company that is making its mark in this industry is Ohana Environmental Consultants and Projects (Pty) Ltd. Ohana is an experienced environmental management company, specialising in environmental control, impact assessments and rehabilitation, freshwater impact assessment and dune management. Their aim is to take care of rivers, wetlands, plants and animals each within its unique ecosystems.

Melun Jeptha, owner of Ohana, has always been aware of a need to protect the environment: “My parents instilled environmental consciousness in our home. From a young age, I remember us recycling, harvesting rainwater and re-using our water in the garden. I consider my parents visionaries for what they taught me, and I am now applying that in my own life.

“As I grew older, I organised recycling and clean-up drives at school and told classmates to carry their litter until they reached a bin. Growing up in a small fishing and coastal village it became important for me to look at ways to become part of a group that cared about the blue heart of our environment. I believe it is my Carib nature and love for the environment that led me to take a proactive role in environmental management.”

That is why a fundamental part of her company’s culture is to look at the best desired outcomes to bolster people and the environment. The goals of the business are to foster sustainability approaches in planning and development while nurturing and protecting natural habitats. It is achieved by:

  1. Applying environmental legislation to determine the impacts of a development on the people, the economy and environment.
  2. Looking at resourceful ways of avoiding these impacts.
  3. Deciding on the best course of action, while keeping the client’s vision in mind.

Some of Ohana’s projects

Ohana is currently busy with an environmental impact report for a proposed development situated in a popular coastal landscape. “In the process of assessment we consider factors like climate change – erosion, accretion, sedimentation, management lines, coastal ecosystems and universal access standards. The proposal also looks at the need and desirability of the proposal and its impact on the broader public, societal needs and the economy,” said Melun Jeptha, owner of Ohana and a professional natural scientist.

“I am presently doing the Environmental Impact report for the Still Bay East dune system. The client, Hessequa Municipality is proposing the development of 6 new boardwalks, one viewing deck and the diversion of two existing boardwalks. The boardwalks will be universally accessible, safe and the public, including the elderly and people in wheelchairs, will be able to access the beach.

“The Still Bay East and Preekstoel dune system will be rehabilitated as part of the development. The project shall build the economy of Still Bay and Riversdale by creating at least 20-30 temporary jobs and 10-15 permanent jobs. The Impact Report is also important because the houses and restaurant in Still Bay are within 35-40m of the high-water mark of the sea.

“I am also working on a community project in my hometown, Hawston, where I proposed a food garden on huge tracts of undeveloped land. I chose this project because I am a member of the church and I would like to make a positive impact in my community and contribute towards food security. I envision that the people that commit to the project will be able to learn skills such as gardening, organic farming, creating their own gardens at home and further their careers in farming. I hope to build the food garden into a sustainable project and transform many lives,” said Melun.

“It’s extremely rewarding for me to be in environmental planning as it allows me to play a role in looking after our planet and make a positive difference in people’s lives,” she added.

For more information, contact Melun Jeptha on 072 4256 072, email ohanaenviro.co.za or visit the website https://ohana-environmental-consultants-and.business.site/