How can local communities pollute the very environment from which they live?
In anticipation of the nation-wide Clean Up campaign scheduled for this Friday, 25 May on Africa Day, the lodges in the Twyfelfontein area and the community leaders joined hands at the beginning of the month to rid their beautiful desert environment from debris and restore it to its pristine natural condition.
On May Day the !Uibasen Conservancy and its operating partners held the first Twyfelfontein Clean Up Day. Planning and preparation began when managers from the conservancy offices, Twyfelfontein Country Lodge, the Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site, Aba Huab Campsite, Camp Kipwe/Mowani Mountain Camp, the Damara Living Museum and Abadi Campsite gathered to discuss the ongoing issue of waste disposal within the conservancy.
Waste not only collects in the local village but also blows into the riverbeds which affects international tourists opinion of the conservation effort in the conservancy. Since the Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site and desert adapted elephants are both in the conservancy, the Twyfelfontein area is a major attraction for tourists.
The campaign was a huge success with around 200 volunteers comprising conservancy members and staff members from the various lodges, working together as a team, collecting and disposing of more than 1800 bags of recyclable waste.
Rent-a-Drum was also a huge help not only in assisting with the clean up but also educating the community on proper recycling techniques and the importance of recycling.
“The community at Twyfelfontein realized that they live in one of the most beautiful places in the world so campaigns like this where everyone commits to help the environment and uplift the community are very special. We hope the members of the conservancy now feel a sense of pride and appreciation for just how beautiful their home can be when it is clean and safe” said the Hospitality Association of Namibia in a statement marking the national clean up day.
Twyfelfontein Country Lodge is working with Rent-a-Drum to provide proper waste disposal facilities, giving the village a long-term solution and opportunity for waste management which was not available to the community previously.
On Friday’s national clean up day, the Hospitality Association said, “More than a month ago, under our motto of “Joining hands and linking brands for a cleaner Namibia” we as a team called on all stakeholders in tourism to fully support the call by his the President, His Excellency Dr Hage Geingob, to join hands in cleaning our beautiful country on 25 May. This call to all HAN, Eco Awards, TASA, TOSCO and RNF members followed previous initiatives, in line with “World Water Day in March. For example, the catering industry is encouraged to move away from plastic straws in our “Say no to Straws”campaign, while Tosco encouraged many other tour operators to reduce the use of disposable plastic bottles and replace them with branded, durable bottles, that are good for marketing too.”
“In this spirit of unity and joint responsibility, communities from Karasburg in the South to the Kavango in the North have also since joined hands to clean up their area, and we truly hope and trust that this spirit will prevail, as we believe that only once all Namibians realize their individual and joint ongoing responsibility to keep Namibia clean, can our initiative be deemed successful.”