As the festive season looms and many are preparing for their destinations, the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has urged Namibians and visitors alike to avoid littering throughout this festive season to help keep the country as spotless as possible.
Namibians are equally encouraged to roll up their sleeves and tidy up their holiday destinations in time for the holiday festive season that has already started.
Over the years, it has been observed that a lot of littering takes place during the festive season in Namibia, as people drive and engage in social and fun-filled activities.
Some holiday-lovers even go to the extent of scarring Namibia’s wonderful landscape at the coastal towns of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Henties Bay, which are often crowded by visitors.
MET spokesperson, Romeo Muyunda, made an impassioned appeal to everyone to clean up their cities, town centres, resting places along national roads, villages, conservancies, national parks and recreation areas – anywhere that could turn from an eyesore to a national asset.
According to him, all communities across the country are therefore urged to take pride in their local area and public places and to make this a fun activity bringing groups together with a common interest.
He said manufacturers of items commonly associated with littering such as soft drinks, chewing gums, chips, confectionary and fast food are equally encouraged to join the ministry in this call and contribute to the clean-up of Namibia’s streets and public places.
Furthermore, all citizens are requested to familiarise themselves with their obligations as set out in the Environmental Management Act (Act No. 7 of 2007) in terms of which this campaign is being organised.
“Litter has a huge impact on the quality of our streets and public places and we all have a responsibility to keep our communities clean. We also encourage people to understand the effects of litter on the environment. Furthermore, improper waste management poses the risk of contaminating the soil, air and water with toxins, chemicals and disease-causing bacterial agents. Waste can be dangerous and can persist in the environment for a very long time if left unmanaged,” Muyunda noted.
To prevent damaging the country’s ecosystems and maintain a high quality of life for citizens, he said waste should be managed properly.
“We need to change our lifestyle by adopting the three ‘Rs’: re-use, recycle and reduce. Namibians can “join the race to make the world a better place” through recycling, re-use and reduction of waste and by avoiding littering”, he said.
While Namibia has been making great progress in recent years, there is still a need to get to a point where everyone takes responsibility for their own actions and their own garbage – initiatives such as this will help achieve that by bringing individuals, communities and businesses together to take pride of their environment.
The ministry called upon all stakeholders and “clean up groups” across the country, including regional governors, constituency councillors, regional councils and local authorities, traditional authorities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), business community, political parties, schools, media and government ministries and agencies to get heavily involved during this period and advocate against littering.
“This will be a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages, everywhere, to clean up their communities, and show how much pride they have in where they live themselves and, more generally, in Namibia’s beautiful landscapes,” he maintained.