Lodges near Rundu are struggling to cope with the increasing noise pollution emanating from Rundu beach where noisy, late night parties and underage drinking are the ‘norm’ at this time of the year when hundreds of ecstatic revellers descend on the spot to over-indulge.
Despite several pleas by lodge owners about the negative impact the noise has on the hospitality industry the town council has turned a blind eye to their pleas.
Council leases out the area to local businessmen during the festive season. They set up their alcohol and food outlets and organise music shows for the residents to dance the night away.
Rundu beach, which is one of the favourite places where Rundu residents have fun with activities such as braais, swimming, relaxing and much more has become a concern for people who complain the noisy partying on the beach comes at any time and turns intolerably exasperating in the late night and early morning hours, making sleep almost impossible for residents.
“It troubles me to see people roaming around lost in alcohol consumption and the people suffering the most are the youth. The noise is so unbearable that when street fights break out you lock yourself in the room,” said Elizabeth Hilger the owner of a lodge within earshot and a stone’s throw from the notorious beach where dozens of revellers have also drowned.
According to Nampol statistics more than 30 people died at the beach so far and despite several letters, proposals and petitions sent to the council’s office against the beach tender of selling alcohol and playing music, the council never called a meeting with all stakeholders to discuss the pertinent issues.
“Every year when the council gives out a tender a human life is lost and it’s not even a lesson to the council to put up sign boards or show residents that they take such things into consideration, as they just continue to give out tenders. How do you educate intoxicated communities and how else can we develop our town if we don’t stand up to take risks on behalf of others? Tourists see a huge potential not seen by our town council which is only interested in short-term gains. It pains me that the council does not want to listen,” stressed Hilger, who owns the popular Tambuti Lodge next to Rundu’s marquee hangout spot Rundu beach.
Hilger has over the years complained about the excessive noise from the beach which is situated a few metres from her business, but her pleas have fallen on deaf ears year in and year out. She says the noise pollution reduces the number of visitors to her lodge that once hosted President Hage Geingob and other high-profile visitors.
The council in the past indicated that it cannot stop community members from having fun at the beach because of the concerns being raised by lodge owners.
The noise not only affects the community but it has negative consequences on lodges in the district and some tourists have threatened not to visit lodges near the beach because of the noise, said Hilger.
Rundu CEO Romanus Haironga could not comment when contacted yesterday as he was in a workshop.