New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Donated Game Safe in Cuba

The more than 131 game species captured in Namibia for trans-relocation to a nature park in Cuba arrived safely on a cargo plane on Saturday.

The game species were kept for more than a month in special disease-resistant bomas close to the Waterberg Etosha National Park, before they were flown to their new home last Friday.

The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, made the announcement of the animals' arrival in Cuba during the inauguration of a community sewing and gardening project and a tourist information centre at Grünau, in the Karas Region.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said the animals that arrived without any incident include kudu, oryx, red hartebeest, springbok, buffalo, eland, ostrich, cheetah, leopard, lion and hyena.

The next game consignment is due for trans-location to Cuba next year, following the generous donation of the wild animals to Cuba, the country's long-time political ally.

Nandi-Ndaitwah, who travelled by road to the area, used the opportunity to highlight the importance of keeping the environment clean.

The minister says she was very dismayed by the dirty conditions around the national highways, with plastic bags, paper and other litter, which are routinely dumped for unknown reasons around the country.

"The Environmental Management Act has become operational since April 1 this year. We will work very hard to monitor and oversee proper management of waste in the country. We are not able do it alone if everybody is not cooperating. Let us understand our national laws relating to waste management so that we all can comply," Nandi-Ndaitwah warned, adding that the way Namibians litter the roadsides endangers the environment.

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