One Hour Back, Please!


By Petronella Sibeene WINDHOEK As winter approaches, Namibians would once again have to adjust their clocks and watches backward by an hour. The official winter will be ushered in on Sunday at two o’clock in the morning. The country would be one hour ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Time changes take place every year as Namibia enters its winter season at 02h00 on the first Sunday of April and reverts back to summer time at 02h00 on the first Sunday of September. This is based on the Namibian Time Act of 1994 that regulates the two seasons. This winter, sunrise would normally be around 06h00 and sunset would occur at least by 17h52. Based on information provided by the weather forecaster at the Namibia meteorological station Odillo Kgobesi, starting from April, the sun will rise between 06h00 and 06h10 and sunset would normally take place by 17h30. In May, the sun will rise at least by 06h30 and set by 17h15 and in June sunrise would not largely differ from the May trend but sunset will take place at least by 17h18. Looking at the data, during the course of winter sunset takes place earlier, meaning that there are shorter days and longer nights during this period. Though the time change system around this time of the year is something that the country has been doing for years, some people still feel it is unnecessary and rather confusing especially the first days when clocks are adjusted. It has been 16 years since the country gained its independence, yet still relies on South Africa to monitor its time. The department is said to have what Kgobesi termed a “universal format” that has enabled experts to come up with formulae with the help of phenomena like longitude and latitude. The change in time is due to Namibia’s location on the South of the Equator. Though some people might view the whole time change process as unnecessary, some Namibians take pride in the annual time change, as this is part of the decolonisation process of the country made possible through the introduction of the Time Change Act. The Namibian Weather Bureau reminds all Namibians to tune their watches and clocks by one hour back as from this coming Sunday, when winter time officially starts.