Illegal sand mining divides Uukwambi

The Uukwambi traditional leadership sees no need to consult some of its subjects about sand mining because such talks took place in 1978.

17 May 2018 | Environment

The Uukwambi Traditional Authority is on the warpath and has threatened a pressure group that is demanding answers to the illegal mining of sand for commercial purposes that has left a trail of environmental destruction in its wake.

The traditional authority yesterday furiously responded to a Namibian Sun exposé about the illegal activities that have reportedly continued unabated, while the government has been accused of ignoring the environmental destruction.

Uukwambi chief Herman Ndilimani Iipumbu denied allegations made by the Iiheke ya Nakele committee, which had demanded transparency, including where the sand miners had received the authorisation from to conduct their activities.

The traditional authority yesterday said it used the proceeds from sand mining to buy coffins. The committee had alleged at a meeting held at Ekamba on 5 May that sand was being mined without the community's consent and that the proceeds were not benefiting locals.

However, the traditional authority claimed yesterday that negotiations around sand mining had taken place 40 years ago and there was no need to hold fresh talks on the matter.

“The so-called committee of Iiheke ya Nakele should cease to conduct illegal meetings aimed at insulting and tarnishing the good image of the Uukwambi Traditional Authority and its leaders,” the statement reads.

“That burrow pit came into existence in the year 1978, the community concerned was duly consulted through community meetings with the late Fillemon Amwaani and Johannes Nelumbu who were the headman of Ekamba and Onenongo villages respectively during that time, therefore the claims of non-consultation hold no water.”

This argument clearly contradicts the Environmental Management Act of 2007, which states that all government institutions, companies, other organisations and individuals that are involved in the planning or undertaking of listed activities, including sand mining, must apply the principles outlined in the Act.





This means that anyone who wants to mine sand must be in possession of an environmental clearance certificate, which is issued after an environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been completed successfully.

For an EIA to be successful the majority of the affected community must not object to the proposal or the environmental commissioner will not issue a clearance certificate.



Proceeds

Meanwhile, the traditional authority also contradicted itself when pressed about the funds collected from sand mining. At first, Iipumbu claimed they do not sell the sand, but later acknowledged that companies were being charged N$100 per load.

However, some sources claimed companies pay as little as N$300 per load to local traditional authorities and sell it for as much as N$1 500 or more to developers and contractors in urban areas.

The traditional authority also refused to entertain questions when asked whether the size of the truck was used to determine the cost.

The traditional authority claimed that it had used the sand mining proceeds between 2011 and 2016 to purchase 16 coffins.

Some of the local farmers have complained of losing livestock in the massive pits left behind by sand miners. This reporter came across a dead goat in one of the pits at Ekamba.

Iipumbu maintained that the pits were not dangerous and attributed livestock deaths several years ago to the seasonal efundja flood.

He also said the traditional authority had rehabilitated some of the pits by refilling them.

“I can take you to some areas where there were burrow pits and we have filled them up and is that not protecting the environment?” Iipumbu questioned.

KENYA KAMBOWE

Similar News

 

Tackling human-snake conflict

1 week ago - 10 August 2018 | Environment

Namibian snake experts are urging Windhoekers to take part in a quick online survey in which they describe any brushes with snakes, in order to...

Billions for biodiversity

1 week ago - 09 August 2018 | Environment

The value of ecosystem services in Namibia exceeds N$13 billion per year, while the biodiversity expenditure is slightly more than N$1 billion annually. This is...

No donkey abattoirs in Nam

1 week ago - 08 August 2018 | Environment

Plans for a donkey abattoir at Okahandja with a slaughter rate of 100 animals a day were quashed after the environment ministry rejected an environmental...

Grants target 76 000 in communal areas

2 weeks ago - 02 August 2018 | Environment

A call for proposals has been made, aiming to reach 76 000 beneficiaries in the communal areas of Namibia. The call will stand for three...

Environment PS retires

2 weeks ago - 01 August 2018 | Environment

Dr Malan Lindeque, who has massive institutional knowledge on conservation and its related fields, has retired from his position as environment and tourism permanent secretary....

Review of leopard export quotas

3 weeks ago - 26 July 2018 | Environment

Namibia is currently performing a full survey to ascertain leopard numbers in the country. A review of the leopard export quotas in Namibia is thus...

Namibia a major e-waste producer

4 weeks ago - 20 July 2018 | Environment

Namibia is ranked as the seventh highest producer of electronic and electric waste (e-waste) in Africa, primarily because of the relatively high living standards of...

N$186m for wildlife tourism, climate

4 weeks ago - 19 July 2018 | Environment

Namibia has been allocated N$186.5 million as part of the next cycle of the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), and given the country's current challenges and...

Shifeta clarifies trophy posts

1 month - 13 July 2018 | Environment

Tourism minister Pohamba Shifeta has clarified confusion in the tourism and hunting industry regarding the ban on posting trophy photos on social media, saying that...

Oondoolopa tadhi ndopa

1 month - 12 July 2018 | Environment

ILENI NANDJATO & NAMPAOminista yomidhingoloko, Pohamba Shifeta, oya popi oshiwike sha piti kutya omatoto agehe giiyagaya ngoka ga ningwa komalelo goondoolopa moshilongo kage li pamulandu.Okwa...

Latest News

Cops probe 'murder ­conspiracy'

4 hours ago | Crime

The police say they are investigating allegations that the recent death of a Nigerian professor in Windhoek was not suicide.The family of Dr Ayetuoma Cyril...

Dobberstein new MD for advertising...

4 hours ago | Business

Elizabeth JosephWeathermen & Co recently appointed Nadja Dobberstein as its managing director.Born and raised in Namibia, she is a passionate and driven individual who strives...

Utilising apps to manage and...

4 hours ago | Business

Businesses, regardless of their size or function, should consider utilising applications for agility and efficiency. PowerCom Pty Ltd's CEO, Alisa Amupolo, made these remarks during...

Ondonga mess has festered too...

4 hours ago | Columns

The Ondonga succession issue has been a hot potato for years and there have been lingering fears that the considerable infighting could lead to dangerous...

Third woman killed in the...

4 hours ago | Crime

The Oshikoto police yesterday arrested a 26-year-old man for allegedly murdering his girlfriend.The suspect allegedly hacked Albertina Shipale Sackaria to death with a panga at...

Business Park still in limbo

4 hours ago | Business

A N$19 million tender for the construction of an SME business park at the Omahenene border post in the Omusati Region has suffered another setback.The...

Haukambe’s resilience an Afrox asset

4 hours ago | Business

Michelline Nawatises He is responsible for managing central and northern towns. He joined Afrox in 2013 as an account controller and moved to sales in...

All eyes on Geingob

4 hours ago | International

All eyes are on President Hage Geingob today as he takes over the SADC chairmanship from South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, with the region expecting...

Lands ministry drags feet on...

4 hours ago | Agriculture

While Ombudsman John Walters is still waiting for the master list of resettlement farm beneficiaries - requested more than two months ago - he says...

Load More