19 June 2017

Namibia: Illegal Refuse Dumping a Headache for Mariental

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Mariental — Illegal dumping of household rubbish is one of the major challenges faced by Mariental Municipality. This was revealed by the deputy mayor of the town during a recent clean-up campaign in the informal settlement of Ombili.

The clean-up campaign was organised by staff at Mariental Library to commemorate World Environmental Day under the theme 'The joy of an environmentally sustainable society'. Mariental Library hosted the event as a means to advocate for a cleaner and safer environment and to raise awareness about the International Environmental Day.

According to Deputy Mayor Anna Aletha Skrywer, the municipality has on numerous occasions tried to clean the area, but the community members would often return and dump their rubbish during the night.

"We, as a municipality, have tried to clean this area, but the community members continue to dump their waste here, especially during the night. However, we are planning to clean up and provide them with shipping containers for the community to throw their rubbish in those containers", she said.

The deputy mayor pleaded with local residents to keep their areas clean. "Please people, keep our town clean. If you have rubbish, either throw it in a plastic bag and put in it front of your gate for the municipality to collect, or call the municipality if you have a lot of rubbish, so they can collect it," she added.

Organiser of the event Jessica Uheua, senior librarian at Mariental Library, urged the local community to visit the library to read more about how to keep their environment clean.

"As a librarian, I will say they should come to the library to read more on how to keep the environment clean, because we have free internet, free books. We have everything free information-wise," she said.

The library mobilised community members, as well as a group of adult literacy learners, to collect refuse from the streets, while the municipality assisted with trucks and bulldozers to clear the illegal dumping sites in the area.

International Environmental Day is held annually on June 5 every year and is one of the principal vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness and enhances political attention and action on the environment.

* Lorato Khobetsi is an information officer for the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Hardap Region.

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