19 Jul 2017 19:50pm
WINDHOEK, 19 JUL (NAMPA) Poor solid waste management has resulted in Windhoek losing its status as the cleanest city in Africa, while more towns across Namibia are becoming more dirty and unsightly.
These were the remarks of the Minister of Environment and Tourism (MET), Pohamba Shifeta at the opening of a consultative workshop on the draft national solid waste management strategy on Wednesday.
Shifeta said increasing urbanisation and industrial development have made waste management a matter of critical importance.
It cannot be doubted that current waste management practises present significant risks to the health of our people and environment, Shifeta said.
The minister remarked that in spite of Namibias small population, high volumes of litter are evident across the country, in the streets of cities and towns, along roads and highways, adjacent to the informal areas, in the sea and along the beaches.
Echoing the minister was the Mayor of the City of Windhoek, Muesee Kazapua who acknowledged that Windhoek lost its status and that efforts are underway to reclaim it in every way possible.
He said the city was doing everything possible by running what is called the Mayoral Cleaning Campaign every month as well as campaigns such as the My waste is my responsibility.
Kazapua, however said there was a need for a waste management strategy and applauded the MET for coming up with such an initiative.
Although MET is in the process of developing regulations specific to waste management, Shifeta said the formulation of a strategy that would identify the critical challenges facing the waste management sector, was crucial.
He said the Environmental Management Act of 2007 (Act no. 7 of 2007) calls on the MET to promote and regulate an environmentally sound management of waste.
Shifeta said the aspect of waste management identified as a key priority area in the Fifth National Development Plan, also features prominently in the Southern African Development Community Protocol on Environmental Management for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.