Coastodian is watching you
Toe the line and watch your step in the Dorob National Park this festive season. Ignore this warning and you may find yourself coughing up N$500 or even more.
The deployment of coastal watches, in areas most prone to environmental violations such as restricted areas near Langstrand, will hopefully ensure greater compliance with regulations.
The launch of a combined law enforcement campaign is the latest initiative in the close partnership between the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management project (NACOMA), the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) and the Namibian Police. The focus will be on enforcing the regulations of the Dorob National Park, fishing and marine regulations, off- road driving, littering as well as other law enforcement activities in safeguarding the coastal environment.
In his address at the launch of the Law Enforcement Awareness Campaign at Rossmund Golf Club last week, Peter Katso Shivute, chief control of fisheries, outlined the human resources and legislative components of the initiative.
The said ministries “…will deploy their staff to designated areas to ensure that visitors comply with regulations implemented to safeguard our marine resources and the environment as per the Marine Resources Act and regulations and the Nature Conservation Ordinance,” he said.
In his address, Rod Braby, NACOMA’s project coordinator, made an urgent plea to visitors and asked them to familiarise themselves with and obey the regulations.
Braby emphasized that all the regulations, laws and rules are contained in a pamphlet which will be distributed widely, including at police check points.
“For further clarification they can also consult with the coastal offices of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.”
The pamphlet clearly spells out regulations with regard to people entering the park on foot: domestic animals in the park; entering the park by vehicle and the permitted and prohibited areas for sedans, 4x4s, bakkies and beach buggies, the permitted areas for quad bikes and other motorised bikes as well as some general rules, i.e. driving; under the influence of alcohol. Clearly marked maps of the areas are also available at MET and MFMR offices. For off-road driving in the demarcated ORV area in the dune belt from Langstrand to Dune 7, free permits should be obtained from the MET offices.
Braby said: “We wish everybody the relaxation they need after a year of hard work. These regulations are not meant to spoil anybody’s fun but only to protect and preserve our coastal environment for generations to come”
The Law Enforcement Campaign can be identified by the name: Coast Watch on bright red T shirts and caps worn by MET wardens and MFMR inspectors, Gazebos and banners at coastal road blocks.