NWR taken to task over Fort Namutoni
16 December 2020 | Tourism
The tourism ministry has instructed that Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) be taken to task over the poor state of Fort Namutoni in the Etosha National Park.
The ministry, as the custodian of national parks, further condemned the mismanagement of the building, “as well as the uncaring attitude and negligence of NWR and staff responsible”.
Ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said the ministry had noted with concern the unacceptable deterioration of the fort reported on social media.
Photos of the dilapidated historic building were circulated on social media last week.
The photos sparked shock and outrage, with commentators describing the situation as tragic, disgusting and pathetic.
Muyunda stressed that Fort Namutoni is a national monument and an important tourist attraction within Etosha National Park.
He said NWR is now a commercial entity under the public enterprises ministry and it is the only company allowed to operate in national parks in terms of the Namibia Wildlife Resorts Company Act.
“The ministry has instructed the deputy director of Etosha National Park to take the company to task and ensure the rehabilitation of the site and that general environmental management and cleanliness at the Namutoni resort is maintained at all times,” said Muyunda.
Compliance with laws
He said ministerial officials responsible for the management of national parks have been instructed to ensure compliance with good environmental management practices and basic cleanliness at all resorts in line with the Nature Conservation Ordinance, Environmental Management Act and other relevant policies of the ministry.
He added that the ministry was committed to ensuring that the highest standards of management are followed in the country's national parks.
“In this regard the current situation will not be tolerated and the ministry will not hesitate to institute alternative arrangements at Namutoni and other resorts in national parks, should the current situation continue to prevail.”
NWR spokesperson Mufaro Nesongano has said that Fort Namutoni has been closed to the public for several years, the aim being to renovate it.
The envisioned renovation is estimated to cost about N$20 million, which NWR does not have at the moment.
NWR has since said that cleaning and removal of dilapidated structures is something that will be addressed immediately.