Cleaners-up have outdone themselves
The 2016 annual Fish River Canyon clean-up campaign which took place from 19 to 24 September, recorded a record-breaking collection of waste since the establishment of the annual campaign 4 years ago. The campaign exceeded any other campaign conducted before, from the total waste removed to the number of participants
Initiated and organized by the Ministry of Environment & Tourism (MET) and supported by the Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF), this year’s campaign was the biggest so far, according to a member of the Fish River Canyon Cleanup organizing committee and MET Tourism Officer, Elretha Mungunda.
Sponsored by RNF members, Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) as main sponsor; Coca-Cola Namibia and Plastic Packaging; as well as the Namibia National Parks programme; NAMDEB Diamond Corporation; Gondwana Collection, and Namibia Wildlife Resorts, this year’s campaign attracted 52 volunteers.
Volunteers from the MET; South Africa National Parks; the Directorate of Environmental Affairs in SA; Gondwana Collection Namibia; Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR); the Ministry of Youth and Sports; the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Job creation; //Gamaseb Conservancy; !Gawachab Conservancy and Keetmanshoop youth, collected a total of 183.5 kg of waste.
The 183.5 kg of waste included 51 kg of metals, 87 kg of bottles, 5 kg of plastic and 40.5 kg of other waste including clothes, bags, shoes, etc
Mungunda: “Volunteers were divided into three groups and each group was allocated a specific stretch of the Fish River Canyon to clean (10km, 20km and 60km). This exercise does not only add value to the Fish River Canyon hiking trail but also creates ownership and a sense of responsibility to the hikers and surrounding communities alike.”
NBL donated N$20,000 cash which was used for gear bags and survival packs for mostly the conservancy members who could not afford to provide the necessary food types for hiking. Furthermore, NBL donated water and refreshments to the value of N$10,300. Other sponsorships made available were t-shirts, hats, water bottles, water purification tablets, cable ties, duct tape, accommodation, meals and first aid kits. Coca Cola also sponsored beverages for the volunteers, while Plastic Packaging gave 2000 refuse bags.
RNF Coordinator, Anita Witt: “Namibia’s unique landscape, beautiful and priceless natural resources is part of our country’s treasure. RNF is very passionate about the Namibian heritage that has proven to be a strong attractor of tourists to the country. If we don’t take care of it, who will?”