Meeting on sand mining in northern Namibia held at Oshakati

24 May 2019 10:30am
OSHAKATI, 24 MAY (NAMPA) – Sand mining and gravel extraction take place in the construction industries of both developed and developing countries all over the world, business man Ben Zaaruka said on Wednesday.
Zaaruka, who amongst others owns Stantoll Properties, was speaking during a meeting with the members of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Natural Resources and the northern business community at Oshakati on Wednesday.
The meeting discussed sand mining in northern Namibia, especially at Iiheke yaNakele and Onanime in the Uukwambi Traditional District, where members of the communities have declared it an illegal activity.
“The demand for sand and gravel mining increased as the socio-economic life of Africans has improved generally,” Zaaruka said, adding that the only important issue to consider now is to look into the positive and negative impacts of sand and gravel mining.
He noted that if it is left unregulated, it will have a negative impact on the environment.
Environment and Tourism Minister, Pohamba Shifeta in March this year suspended sand mining in northern Namibia, after some affected community members petitioned his ministry arguing that they were not properly consulted before mining activities commenced.
The moratorium remains in force until the traditional authority, sand miners and affected members of the community consult each other and decide how they will share the profits derived from sand mining.
“The moratorium brought our business to a standstill in terms of constructions of houses, roads and business buildings,” said one of the business people and Chairperson of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Ongwediva branch, Veiko Haimbodi, while addressing the same meeting.
Haimbodi claimed that many businesses have laid off their workers, particularly truck drivers, as a result of the suspension.
Most of the business people who attended the meeting want the moratorium lifted in order to avoid unemployment and hindrance in the development of the country.
Member of Parliament and head of the committee, Agnes Kafula, said her committee will compile a report on the matter for discussion in the National Assembly.