Clean up and avoid waste, environment ministry urges

30 August 2021 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT



WINDHOEK

The environment ministry is calling on Namibians to clean up in their communities and avoid irresponsible waste disposal, which causes environmental degradation and biological diversity loss.

This according to deputy environment minister Heather Sibungo, who was speaking at the launch of a national clean-up campaign at the Five Rand camp settlement at Okahandja.

She called on all Namibians to join hands and participate in the 2021 clean-up activities in their respective communities to keep the country clean.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, there will not be a specific clean-up day like in the past, as the ministry does not want people to gather in groups.

They are rather encouraging people to start cleaning in their communities from today.

Contribute

Sibungo also called upon corporate citizens to contribute to the national, regional and local authorities’ clean-up initiatives by providing transport and cleaning materials.

“In the same vein, I would like to encourage the Namibian youth and investors to initiate innovative and creative ways and invest in waste management solutions, technologies and systems that process waste to useful forms or products, as well as industries to invest in zero-waste technologies to ensure clean production processes that reduce pollution in our country,” she said.

Sibungo added that waste dumping does not only damage the image of the country, but also contributes significantly to the greenhouse effect through the emission of methane gas, which is one of the factors causing climate change and global warming.

“A dirty environment does not only damage the image of our physical environment but also our image as citizens and residents of this beautiful country.”

She therefore called upon all Namibians to actively organise and participate in clean-up activities, and to desist from irresponsible disposal of waste which ends up in riverbeds and being ingested by livestock and wild animals.

Invest

Sibungo further encouraged industry players to join the regional and local authorities to form public-private partnership for investment in waste recycling facilities and upgrading of waste management sites.

She said investment in waste collection, sorting and recycling is the most effective waste management solution.

Commercial banks and development finance institutions have a crucial role to play in keeping Namibia clean by providing grants and low-interest loans to regional and local authorities to support effective and environmentally sound investment in waste management, she added.

“I would like to also encourage local authorities to redouble their efforts in providing waste management services to all residents within their respective jurisdictions by earmarking waste collection levies for investment in waste-management facilities.”

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