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Fish River Canyon gets clean-up

The 2011 Fish River Canyon Clean-up served as preparation for this year’s event which incorporates many more stakeholders and will ultimately be a much bigger operation. From the left are Harry Thjihukununa (Chief Control Warden for all Southern Parks), Mr Max Witbooi (Ranger For Ai/Ais Park) and Mr Mendes Paolo Vinte (Warden of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park).

The 2011 Fish River Canyon Clean-up served as preparation for this year’s event which incorporates many more stakeholders and will ultimately be a much bigger operation. From the left are Harry Thjihukununa (Chief Control Warden for all Southern Parks), Mr Max Witbooi (Ranger For Ai/Ais Park) and Mr Mendes Paolo Vinte (Warden of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park).

What used to be a pristine environment, is in dire need of a clean-up. The relatively high number of visitors to the Fish River Canyon, especially during winter, has left a legacy of debris that needs to be removed. The only way to do this is to send in a cleaning team and pick up the waste, piece by piece.
Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) announced its partnership with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, SANParks, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) and park neighbours to conduct the biggest ever clean-up in the Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the World, and one of Namibia’s prime tourist attractions.
According to Mr Mendes Vinte, the Warden of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, approximately 40 volunteers from all the involved institutions will start from Hobas on 24 August. working their way south, until the entire canyon has been swept.  Depending on the duration it takes to clean the approximately 100 kilometres, the clean-up will take 5 to 6 days. The volunteers will carry all the items they collect and will only be relieved of their load at the Kiosk and again at the end of their route at /Ai/Ais. “This is the second time the Ministry of Environment is conducting a major clean-up in this area, and we are pleased that this year’s Fish River Canyon Clean-up will be bigger and better than ever due to the wide support from SANParks, NWR, park neighbours and NBL,” said Vinte. “This clean-up is significant because it covers an area with high tourism value, while at the same time covering a very challenging terrain with tough conditions which make it difficult to keep clean.”
The /Ai/Ais Hot Spring Game Park has been in existence since 1968.  In 2003 the Park was merged with the Richstersveld National Park in South Africa to form the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park covering an area of about 6045 square kilometres. The treaty was signed by then President Sam Nujoma and South Africa’s Thabo Mbeki in August 2003.

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