Shifeta warns sand miners

The environment minister has warned sand miners that they may be sued for any damages arising from quarries that are not filled in.

11 November 2019 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has warned sand miners that they will be held responsible for any deaths caused by their damage to the environment.

He said sand miners are pretending not to understand the environmental laws regulating their business.

Shifeta was speaking at the launch of the Road Authority's (RA) sand quarry rehabilitation project at Ongha in the Ohangwena Region.

The RA has embarked upon a nationwide project to rehabilitate open quarries where sand was excavated for road building.

Lawrence Kiggundu of Namu Consulting, who is overseeing the project in the Ohangwena Region, said since the introduction of the Environmental Management Act the department of transport and the RA have adopted an environmental manual which requires contractors to restore any environmental damage caused during construction.

“This project is the outcome of an investigation done throughout the country to locate all the pits that have not been rehabilitated.

“Many of our roads were constructed before independence and that time there was no environmental law that required rehabilitation of burrow pits.

“When the environmental law came into effect it required rehabilitation of all environmental damage, therefore the department of transport and RA came up with environmental manual,” Kiggundu said.

“As per the environmental manual, any construction project design has to incorporate environmental issues to be sorted out during the construction.

“That also includes all existing burrow pits that were left open from previous road works. This will be done in consultation with local leaders,” he said

In Ohangwena Region alone, there are 119 sand quarries that must be filled. Some of these pits are now being used by illegal sand miners.

Shifeta welcomed the initiative by the RA, saying that it's against the Environmental Management Act to leave behind open quarries that people and animals can fall into.

“Somebody who causes damage to the environment must pay the cost associated with that environmental damage, including the human cost.

“I have been warning these sand miners that one day someone will go to court and claim for loss of life due to the environmental damage caused by them. This can be either a car that fell into a burrow pit or someone who was trying to draw water from the pit,” Shifeta said.

“You will not only pay for the damages caused by the environmental damage, but will also have to rehabilitate the area so that it cannot cause further damage.

“We just have to make sure we start implementing the law so that people will not do things with impunity. Right now people are pretending not to understand.”

Shifeta said ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse because laws are gazetted for people to learn about them.

He said sand quarrying is listed as a mining activity and therefore must be done according to the laws regulating the mining sector.

ILENI NANDJATO

Similar News

 

Lions are now livestock in SA

1 week ago - 03 December 2019 | Environment

The Operators and Professional Hunting Associations of Africa (OPHAA), which includes Namibia, has expressed concern over South Africa's reclassification of more than 30 species as...

Shifeta leads delegation to global conference

1 week ago - 02 December 2019 | Environment

Namibia will participate at this year's United Nations climate-change conference, also known as COP 25, which starts today. The 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) to...

Unethical hunting has no place in Namibia

1 week ago - 29 November 2019 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has made it clear that there is no place in Namibia for unethical hunting, which will damage the country's reputation.Shifeta, who...

Don’t waste your e-waste

2 weeks ago - 22 November 2019 | Environment

Mariselle Stofberg“Recycling is important for all, not just companies. If we don’t want to ‘live in a trashcan,’ recycling is for us.”The chief executive officer...

Sustainability has never been a waste

2 weeks ago - 22 November 2019 | Environment

In support of its commitment to, and passion for environmental sustainability, Pick n Pay (PnP) Namibia – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L)...

Plastic bag levy boosts local production

2 weeks ago - 20 November 2019 | Environment

AUGETTO GRAIG Plastic bags litter Namibia and add to the negative impact of climate change currently laying waste to the economy. The government has...

Plastic bag levy boosts local production

3 weeks ago - 19 November 2019 | Environment

AUGETTO GRAIG Plastic bags litter Namibia and add to the negative impact of climate change currently laying waste to the economy. The government has...

Clearing the shelters one adoption at a time

3 weeks ago - 15 November 2019 | Environment

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Windhoek held their Clear the Shelter day on Saturday, 9 November. A total of...

Devil's claw under threat

3 weeks ago - 14 November 2019 | Environment

The increase in illegal grazing in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest, as well as illegal fences in the N#a Jaqna Conservancy and Community...

Shifeta warns sand miners

4 weeks ago - 11 November 2019 | Environment

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta has warned sand miners that they will be held responsible for any deaths caused by their damage to the environment.He said...

Latest News

Debts, joblessness fuel latest rating...

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Economics

Rating agency Moody's downgraded Namibia's economy on Friday to a Ba2 rating but changed the outlook to stable, citing among other things rising government debt...

By-elections galore in January

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Politics

Four by-elections are scheduled to take place on 15 January in constituencies vacated by councillors who resigned because of the enforcement of Article 47 of...

Geingob 'oblivious' to corruption

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Government

If President Hage Geingob does not realise how endemic corruption is in Namibia and what role it played in the humiliation decline of his and...

Trivialising corruption

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Opinion

President Hage Geingob's defensive stance on corruption – capped by his remark on Friday that the problem is not systemic – cannot go unchallenged.For a...

Winning the fight against measles

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Health

Over the past decade there has been a drastic decline in measles cases in Namibia, dropping from 1 815 to only 16 confirmed cases this...

What a year

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Sports

As I write my last column for 2019, I would like to reflect on what I feel was good and bad this year in the...

Ashikoto hopes for better 2020

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA Power-Power Development and Boxing Academy promoter Risto Ashikoto says he hopes for a better...

Javier Mascherano unveiled as Estudiantes...

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Sports

NAMPA/XINHUA Javier Mascherano said Saturday that he feels motivated and ready to return to Argentinian football after his official unveiling as...

Go all out for Olympic...

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Sports

NAMPA/XINHUA ...

Load More