New uniforms for wildlife and protected area officials

…Reflect discipline, respect, team spirit

10 June 2021 | Tourism

ELLANIE SMIT







WINDHOEK

More than 1 000 wildlife and protected area officials within the environment and tourism ministry will now boast new uniforms and protective clothing.

The uniforms for the natural resource management department

were launched yesterday by tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta.

It was funded through the Namibian National Parks Programme (NamParks), a ministry initiative supported by Germany through the German Development Bank with co-funding from the Namibian government.

Shifeta also launched an internal policy on the provision and wearing of uniforms and protective clothing for ministry staff and officials.

He said the ministry has a duty to deliver services across the country to promote biodiversity conservation and tourism development as well as enhance law enforcement and wildlife crime prevention.

“The appearance of employees in wildlife and conservation areas is a vital element to reflect the image of the ministry. This has a significant impact on the way the ministry is viewed by employees, stakeholders and the general public in achieving our set goals.”

Uniforms for all

According to the policy, the job categories to which uniforms are attached include wardens, rangers, conservation scientists and administrative staff, while protective clothing is attached to maintenance staff in national parks.

Shifeta, however, said the wearing of a uniform in the ministry is not only for the natural resource management department but for other department and directorates as well.

According to him, the directorate of forestry is one such directorate where staff members have to wear uniforms.

Shifeta said when they started the process of securing funding and buying uniforms for the natural resource management department, forestry was still with the agriculture ministry.

“I can assure you that we have already begun with the process of finding resources so that we can provide uniform and protective clothing to staff members of the forestry directorate.”

He said other units in the ministry such as environmental inspectors, tourism officers and work inspectors and engineers will also have to wear uniforms and protective clothing. Shifeta added that arrangements will be made in near future for this.

Reflecting the ministry

Meanwhile, according to the internal policy on the uniforms, the ministry prescribes the manner in which uniforms are worn to reflect the identity of wildlife conservation in the ministry as well as discipline, respect, uniformity, team spirit, dedication and loyalty. The uniforms also inform the public instantly that they are dealing with a particular institution, the minister said.

The uniforms and protective clothing are the property of the ministry and should be handled and utilised carefully for official use only. All staff members of the ministry entrusted to wear the uniform should do so with responsibility and for official duties only, Shifeta said.

He stressed that supervisors should ensure compliance to the policy, adding that misuse and abuse of uniform will be punishable.