Plastic pollution at Swakopmund entrance

21 Feb 2017 14:30pm
By Paulus Shiku
SWAKOPMUND, 21 FEB (NAMPA) – The road entering Swakopmund is littered with various plastic materials and papers; an unbecoming sight for locals and tourists alike.
The garbage stretches about eight kilometres (km) east from the permanent police roadblock, passing Nonidas towards Arandis.
The mess also stretches about 2km north of Rössmund and east of the DRC informal settlement.
Clive Lawrence, general manager of health services in the Swakopmund Municipality, told Nampa on Monday the pollution is exacerbated by wind that blows the litter into the mentioned areas.
“We have noted the periodic pollution of the eastern entrance of Swakopmund, which derives in some instances from the illegal occupation of unserviced land,” said Lawrence.
It appears the litter has accumulated for more than three months and when asked, Lawrence could not say when last the area was cleaned.
“The area is listed for cleaning on a permanent basis and was purely in a poor condition due to the strong north-easterly wind of the weekend.”
He said a task force has been delegated to attend to the matter.
As confirmed by Lawrence, the source of the pollution is the DRC informal settlement, where majority of residents appear to throw rubbish anywhere.
Residents share skip bins provided by the municipality, however, some do not use the designated containers.
Lawrence said there are strategies in place to keep the town clean, such as ‘Project Shine’ that was introduced in June last year.
“Project Shine is activated by qualifying non-profit organisations or groups involved in cleaning an area of approximately 20km on the east bound entrance.”
There is also a Ward Cleaning System applied to open spaces in Mondesa, Matutura (official name for DRC) and other open spaces around Swakopmund.
Lawrence said participants in this project are unemployed residents and are doing a great job.
“We apologise but assure you that corrective measures are always put in place to provide a clean and environmentally sustainable town in Namibia.”
Swakopmund Constituency Councillor, Juuso Kambueshe on Monday told Nampa he also noticed the pollution, saying it is disturbing.
Kambueshe suggested that DRC residents be sensitised on cleanliness, and punitive measures be introduced for those who litter.
He said plastic bags from grocery shops also need to be made more expensive; some shops charge 30 cents per bag while others give it for free.
Kambueshe said this poses a business opportunity for unemployed people to start a factory for reusable shopping bags.