Don’t litter, don’t poach, don’t bother tourists and give the best service you can – tourism minister to visitors and locals alike
Environment and Tourism Minister, Hon Pohamba Shifeta this week called on both Namibians and visitors to refrain from activities that harm the environment but at the same time, he wished all holidaymakers well and expressed the hope that they enjoy their break.
Cautioning that all the festivities create a huge amount of waste, the minister also warned motorists not to dispose of garbage by simply throwing it out of the car’s window.
“Litter and irresponsible waste disposal can contaminate the soil, air and water with toxins, chemicals and disease-causing bacterial agents. Littering is one of the most visible and persistent environmental issues facing Namibia and costs the country a substantial amount of resources every year to clean up and repair the damages to the environment,” he stated.
Asking the public to remain vigilant, the minister said it is important that any form of poaching or suspected poaching must be reported immediately.
“Considering that this is the holiday season, poachers may view it as the right time to commit crimes, however the public should be reassured that measures have been put in place to ensure that our national parks and other conservation areas are sufficiently guarded with intensified anti-poaching patrols throughout the festive season. Both ground and aerial patrols are being carried throughout the festive season.”
Finally, the minister assured all travellers and visitors from overseas that their safety and security remain a top priority.
“There is no doubt that, the challenges around safety and security have negatively affected Namibia as a tourist destination. The ministry has therefore engaged the private sector and various stakeholders, to establish collaborative efforts and fight crime against tourists. The ministry condemns any act of violence against tourists in this country. Tour operators are also urged to recommit themselves in ensuring the safety of our tourists at all times,” he said.
“Tourism is one of the important economic sectors contributing enormously to the country’s Gross Domestic Product as well as creating employment for locals and ultimately contributing to poverty reduction.” The minister concluded by calling on all Namibians who are responsible for service delivery during the holidays, to render such an impressive service that visitors will gladly return to Namibia for future holidays.