Namibia to beef up maritime pollution prevention

21 Feb 2019 15:40pm
WINDHOEK, 21 FEB (NAMPA) – Cabinet has approved Namibia’s accession to the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution (Bunker Convention of 2011) to regulate and deal with marine pollution on Namibian shores.
Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Stanley Simataa revealed this on Thursday during a media briefing on the second Cabinet decision taken on Wednesday.
He said Namibia also needed to make accessions to the International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 1973 - annexes four and six, relating to pollution by sewage from ships and pollution by sewage from ships.
He said because the country had intentions to establish itself as a logistics hub, there has been an increase in sea traffic and heightened gas and oil exploration activities in the country.
Therefore, there are risks in terms of pollution and spillage at sea as well as bunker oil pollution.
“Ships that sail are not allowed to discharge sewage if they do not have an approved sewage treatment plant on board because the moment you do that, you are causing irreparable damage to the marine ecosystem,” Simataa said.
Speaking during the same meeting, Ministry of Works and Transport Deputy Director of Pollution Control, Pinehas Auene said acceding the conventions does not require any subscription fee, however, the country must ensure that mechanisms are put in place to ensure that ships coming to Namibian ports carry mandatory certificates.
“It is also to ensure that our own vessels that qualify under these particular treaties are also certified,” he said.