Take action against litter on environment day: Herunga

05 Jun 2014 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 05 JUN (NAMPA) – The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Uahekua Herunga has called on Namibians to take action against littering on World Environment Day (WED).
The day is observed globally on 05 June every year.
The local theme this year is ‘Let’s keep Namibia clean – everyday, everywhere, everyone’.
“Litter has become a sore to the eye across the country, but more so in our densely populated areas. Litter can also trap, suffocate, strangle and poison our precious wildlife as well as domestic animals. A litter-free and cleaner environment in Namibia will help boost tourist numbers, prevent disease and create health-supportive environments for all living organisms,” he said in a media statement issued on Thursday.
The stamen said litter can be dangerous and can persist in the environment for a very long time if left uncollected. It affects communities and can have detrimental effects on the local economy and on tourism.
“Litter builds up and becomes a fertile breeding ground for bacteria that can threaten public health,” Herunga added.
He stressed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has found that environmental risk factors play a role in more than 80 per cent of all diseases.
This year’s campaign rallies each and every able-bodied person in Namibia to take action in schools, institutions of higher learning, homes, workplaces, businesses, churches, and on the roadside to conduct clean-up operations in order to reduce litter for a cleaner and healthier Namibian environment.
“Let us adopt the seven R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle, recover, refuse, repair, and re-gift in going forward for a healthy environment,” he added.
The fundamental aim of this year’s celebrations in Namibia is to create awareness on the risks associated with litter and how it affects the environment and daily lives of its citizens.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) theme for World Environment Day 2014 is ‘Raise your voice, not the sea level’ and is in support of the United Nations (UN) designation of 2014 as the international year of small island developing states (SIDS). WED will this year thus adopt SIDS in the broader context of climate change as a theme.
World Environment Day was established by the UN General Assembly to mark the opening of the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. The day is aimed at stimulating and encouraging political attention and action towards the environment.