WINDHOEK/WALVIS BAY/RUNDU – President Hage Geingob accompanied by First Lady Monica Geingos and a score of Cabinet ministers on Friday led hundreds of Windhoek residents in the Goreangab area in the national cleaning up campaign.
Residents, including from private companies, started gathering from 06h30 with their cleaning tools at the assembly point at Goreangab’s ‘Okapare’ in Samora Machel Constituency, where City of Windhoek (CoW) officials briefed them on safety measures and recycling.
Goreangab informal settlement was hit hard by the outbreak of hepatitis E late last year, along with Havana, Hakahana, Greenwell Matongo and Ombili.
Launching the start of the national clean-up campaign,Geingob – donned in coveralls and gloves – expressed his sincere gratitude to Namibians for utilising all resources at their disposal to guarantee a successful clean-up drive.
“I thank all governors, mayors, councillors, offices, ministries, agencies, the NBC, the Namibian Defence Force, as well as our private sector,” he said, adding that their concerted efforts in supporting the national initiative will go a long way in making Namibia a better country.
He said that without doubt the campaign is the beginning of a new chapter for Namibia’s cities, towns and villages.
“We are cultivating the ethos of keeping our capital city, towns, villages and homes clean,” he said.
He called on Namibians to seize the opportunity to make a positive impact and take significant steps forward in keeping Namibia healthy and clean.
“Today let us show our pride and common sense of purpose by cleaning, not just for the sake of cleaning, but to ensure that we initiate a trend and movement that will ensure that all Namibians, present and future, will enjoy living in a healthy, welcoming and tranquil environment,” he said.
He said it is incumbent on each and every Namibian to subscribe to the mantra of “my waste, my responsibility.”
“Cleaning is a good practice but if we cultivate a culture in which we don’t litter, vandalise our infrastructure and dump waste, then we will make significant progress towards becoming the cleanest country on our continent and even the world,” he said.
“Why not?” he questioned.
Meanwhile, residents of Erongo Region also heeded President Geingob’s call to clean up the country. They also gathered at their respective towns as early as 06h30 on Friday to take part in the event. There were thousands of young and old.
Various companies such as Namport, Erongo Marine and China Harbour Company mobilised their employees to be part of the massive campaign. Members of the Namibian Defence Force could be seen cleaning up parts of Narraville suburb in Walvis Bay.
At Rundu, 40 groups were dispatched to various points to pick up rubbish and waste around the town, where the clean-up was led by Kavango East Governor Samuel Mbambo. He was at the forefront of picking up the rubbish that has sullied the reputation of the town.
Swapo Secretary General Sophia Shaningwa and Rundu Mayor Verna Sinimbo together with Rundu Urban Constituency Councillor and MP Victoria Kauma also participated on Friday.
“Today we are going to work. I just want to make use of this opportunity to welcome everyone as well as our Swapo Secretary General Sophia Shaningwa who came all the way from Windhoek to join us. Rundu Mayor Verna Sinimbo is also here to see to it that the town is clean,” said Mbambo.
“His Excellency the President has extended his warm greetings and wants to thank you as you already started with the cleaning campaign before this day set by the president. What you have done and what you have shown is the love towards your leader, towards your country,” Shaningwa said before reading President Geingob’s statement, which was read out in all 14 regions.
FNB Rundu branch donated 10 garbage bags that are to be installed permanently at various places in town for residents to throw in their trash and other waste as they walk around town.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH project donated gloves, masks, rubbish bags and some clean-up campaign T-shirts.
Plastic Packaging also donated some plastic rubbish bags, amongst other assistance to the event. Other sponsors were Kavango Total, Vivo Energy Namibia, OK Foods and Pick ‘n Pay that provided refreshments.