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Concerned environmentalists re-ignite campaign to keep the country clean

Concerned environmentalists re-ignite campaign to keep the country clean

Anxiously watching the heaps of waste from personal protective equipment and other household waste mounting as a result of the pandemic, concerned environment and tourism parties came together again to re-ignite the drive and efforts towards a cleaner Namibia.

As far back as December 2017, the Hospitality Association of Namibia, Recycle Namibia Forum and EcoAwards Alliance came together to discuss ways of promoting long-term activities for a cleaner Namibia.

In 2018, much focus was on reducing waste be refusing to contribute to it, such as refusing the use of straws, plastic bags and the like, and some striking posters were created for this initiative and many establishments and restaurants applied this concept in striking ways.

The ‘Cleaner Namibia’ initiative was continued in 2019 when Tourism Supporting Conservation (Tosco) came on board and they made this drive a priority.

Recycle Namibia Forum expanded on the Reduce, Re-use and Recycle concept by adding 4 more R’s, namely Remove, Re-think, Re-purpose and Refuse. Tosco agreed to be the driving force in taking this message to the people, all agreeing that a good start would be the pristine conservancies in some of Namibia’s popular tourism attractions.

The Tosco team went on a field trip early in February, visiting the Ehi Rovipuka , Purros and Khoadi Hoas conservancies.

The trip was combined with conservancies sites visits in order to obtain ground information on types of waste and proof on a clean-up need. The visits are also done in order to meet some members of management committees such as Conservancies Managers and Chairpersons.

The conservancies showed willingness to help where they could at their level, for instance to mobilise themselves and form groups, identify team leaders per chosen sites. Each conservancy has identified maximum 3 critical sites that need cleaning. Most of the sites identified are located in main tourism routes and even major tourism attractions.

It was discovered that the types of waste are mainly household related including plastic, tins etc than the other types are glass bottles, plastic bottles, cans, etc. these are from local bars/shebeens. It was also leant that majority of communities bury and burn waste.

It was found out that there is a huge need of dustbins, establishment of dumping sites which are eco-friendly and a need for training on waste management.

The remaining conservancies; Tsiseb, Torra and Uibasen are scheduled for a visit between 27 February and 01 March. The trip is funded by Tosco.

Meanwhile, the campaign urgently needs provision of transport, fuel and refreshments for the team travelling to Uibasen on the 17 March.


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys