Windhoek-In a bid to reclaim Windhoek’s status as the cleanest city in Africa, President Hage Geingob has revealed his intentions to set aside a day on which all Namibians will be called on to roll up their sleeves and engage in a nationwide cleanup campaign.
“I will announce the day and everyone – from the army to the police, from public servants to members of our business community – will participate in cleaning up our towns and cities. In so doing, we will not only reclaim the title of cleanest capital in Africa, but we will go a step further to become the cleanest country in Africa,” Geingob said on Thursday when he officially inaugurated the City of Windhoek new City Hall.
Namibia lost the prestigious title of having the cleanest city in Africa due to the increasing amount of waste accumulating along its national roads, in towns and villages. For decades, Geingob noted, Namibia had been lauded for having the cleanest capital on the continent.
“In recent years, we started to hear that Kigali in Rwanda had overtaken us and was now the cleanest capital in Africa. I said to myself, ‘seeing is believing’. And let me say this, after two trips to Kigali, I have to admit that they have taken the lead.
“Therefore, my assignment here today is not only to officiate at the inauguration of this new and impressive building, but to give you all the assignment to ensure that Windhoek reclaims the title of cleanest city in Africa.”
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has on several occasions said it was determined to ensure Namibia returns to its glory days. Currently, Namibia is ranked tenth among the cleanest countries in Africa, from position number one it maintained for over the years. Government has also identified waste management as a priority area in the Fifth National Development Plans (NDP5).
President Geingob said the new five-storey office block and Council Chambers were a symbol of Namibia’s advancement as a nation towards its developmental objectives.
He said, as the nation shares in the joy of inaugurating the City Council’s new home, Namibians should embrace a shared vision and commitment to accountability, effective governance, harnessing public service delivery and safeguarding quality assurance.
He said the building was, therefore, a mirror of the life of the country’s capital and Namibia as a whole. Further, he said it captures the spirit of the past and of Windhoek, adding that it reflects the country’s unified aim – a society that is holding hands on the march towards shared prosperity.
He stressed that the onus is on elected officials, including those at local level to ensure that the message of the common vision for Namibia’s development does not fade, but becomes entrenched in society.
“As mayors and council members, you have the opportunity to effect change and promote our strategic vision of economic growth within your communities. But before you can effectively carry out your mandate, you need to build trust within your communities,” he said.
The president said the council must work harder and should always promote accountability and transparency for the benefit of all citizens through strengthening its effectiveness and capacity to fight poverty and enhance social progress.