A SMALL company that works with the environment ministry to clean up the beaches at Swakopmund and Walvis Bay had by yesterday collected more than 5 000 bags of trash, much of it beer bottles.
The central coast bulges with holidaymakers every festive holiday season, during and after which a lot of trash is left behind, especially on the stretch from Long Beach to Independence Beach between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay.
Thousands of people spend their days there, while a variety of activities are also held in the area.
The result every year is of beautiful beaches strewn with rubbish, with holidaymakers mostly not caring to dispose of their rubbish properly - either by taking their trash with them or chucking it into the designated bins and skips scattered along beachfronts.
MD Business, with eight workers, has for the past six years worked every day during the festive holidays to clean up the beaches.
MD Business MD, Anton Daniel told The Namibian yesterday that since the holidays started in December until yesterday, his small team has collected over 5 000 black refuse bags of trash.
While every year is "bad", he said this year was maybe a little better than last, but still "very, very dirty".
"It's filthy every year. People don't want to learn or rather they do not care. Someone else must pick up. Well, here we are now for over five years, and at least we can make a small business with it while keeping the beaches nice and clean," said Daniel.
Daniel and three other men were picking up trash at Long Beach and loading it onto a bakkie, while four women were cleaning Independence Beach.
Daniel said he was contracted by the Walvis Bay Municipality to clean the Long Beach-Independence Beach stretch, while the environment ministry cleans the stretch from Long Beach to Swakopmund.
"Usually we would work the area about three times a week through the year, but December holidays we have to do this every day. Otherwise it will just get too much," he said.
By yesterday the stretch between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay was almost squeaky clean.
Environment ministry senior warden at Swakopmund, Rob Davies, said that not only did littering affect the beaches, but trash also ends up in the sea and the desert.
Daniel said the worst period was between Christmas and New Year's Day.
"We can cope until about Christmas, but from then until New Year, the sheer volume of people coming to these areas and littering in a short time is just too much to keep up with. Not even bins and skips are enough to handle the mess.
"It's a matter of educating people to take back what they came with. It can be done. All they have to do is put their rubbish in a bag or box and take it home with them where they can then dispose of it properly," said Davies.
He said the clean-up operation will go on until the end of the week, after which a report will be issued about the waste collected.
He believes that it is possible for Daniel's team to have collected so much rubbish over the holidays, adding that the figures from MET would probably be the same or even more.