Invest in waste disposal - Shifeta

28 September 2020 | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has urged municipalities, town councils and other local authorities to invest in waste disposal infrastructure and services.

“We cannot expect people not to litter, but there are no disposal facilities conveniently available, particularly in congested areas,” Shifeta said. “It is concerning that some people in our communities' litter deliberately with the excuse that they are creating employment. I want to condemn this type of behaviour.”



Awareness

Meanwhile, Shifeta announced that the country's third national clean-up campaign will focus on public awareness instead of mass gatherings.

This is according to environment minister Pohamba Shifeta, who said at the recent launch of the initiative that campaign activities planned for this year will run from 23 September to 31 March 2021.

While there will not be a dedicated national clean-up day this year, individuals, groups and institutions are encouraged to conduct clean-up activities during the campaign period and beyond, provided safety measures against the coronavirus pandemic are put in place, he said.

Shifeta added the campaign seeks to transform the attitudes of citizens to be more responsible and conscious when handling waste.

To address the challenge of irresponsible waste disposal, there is a need to sensitise Namibians on the importance of having a cleaner environment, he said.

According to Shifeta, the campaign seeks to address information and capacity gaps that exist by targeting specific segments of society, so that everyone is on par in understanding efforts to keep Namibia clean. The ministry has also identified that Namibia does not have adequate waste management infrastructure and services in cities, towns and settlements to encourage the responsible disposal of waste, he said.

“There is simply no conveniently located refuse bins in most of our towns and settlements for people to dispose waste without having to litter.” In some instances, towns have poor or non-existent refuse removal services, despite residents being charged, Shifeta said.



#KeepNamibiaClean

The ministry is developing exciting interactive platforms such as the 'trash tug challenge' to be administered via social platforms during the national clean-up campaign. Individuals and groups will conduct clean-ups, take before and after pictures and post them using the hashtag #KeepNamibiaClean to stand a chance to win exciting prizes. The clean-up campaign, an initiative to address litter pollution and waste in the country, was first launched by President Hage Geingob in 2018.

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