New Year celebrations pollute Swakopmund beaches

09 Jan 2017 16:30pm
SWAKOPMUND, 09 JAN (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) might in the future seek police assistance to expel illegal overnighters from Swakopmund beaches and impose fines for garbage.
The decision for police assistance follows a ban to overnight on the beaches in 2015 because holidaymakers leave waste and damage the ecosystems on Long Beach and Mile 4 beaches.
“We are left with no option but to call the police to assist us, because people do not want to cooperate,” said park warden, Jeremia Lamek on Monday.
In 2016, the ministry made an exception that revellers may overnight on the beaches without permits during the festive season, but only if they keep it clean.
The New Year celebration at the end of 2016 along the Atlantic coast saw garbage on the beaches in the Dorob National Park.
Normally, visitors without a permit to overnight are expected to vacate the park by 21h00 or risk fines.
Lamek and 10 temporary cleaners from the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management Project (NACOMA) have since the beginning of the 2016/2017 festive season been cleaning Long Beach every morning and were at the beginning of this year greeted with more garbage.
He said during the New Year countdown, many visitors overnight there and he alone cannot control them, hence the decision to next time call in the police.
On Monday, Nampa observed that Mile 4 is in a mess as ashes and beer bottles are still scattered along the shore.
“Mile 4 is still dirty as we have been focusing on Long Beach where a lot of people were. But we will pick up the bottles and bury the ashes,” said the warden.
Lamek’s team will wrap-up the cleaning on Wednesday. Long Beach was clean by Monday.
“Over the festive season, I issued fines totalling to N.dollars 4 500. Mostly illegal quad biking and overnighting.”
Illegal quad biking and overnighting carry a N.dollars 500 fine, while an illegal fire on the beach has a fine of N.dollars 250.
He advised revellers to pick up their garbage when the party is over and throw it in the bins provided there.
“The rule of thumb is whatever you bring in, take it out with you,” said Lamek.