Swakopmund — Government and the explosives industry have the responsiblty to improve the way explosives are managed in the country in order to protect its citizens at all cost.
This is according to the Minister of Safety and Security, retired major-general Charles Namoloh who was addressing delegates of the 19th international conference of chief inspectors of explosives as well as the explosives propellants and pyrotechnics workshop that is currently under way in Swakopmund.
The five-day workshop is aimed at information sharing with regards to explosives testing, production, transporting as well as management and safety benefits, and regulations for explosives test methods as well as share best practices in handling explosives.
The conference is being attended by experts from France, Germany South Africa, Sweden, Spain, Namibia and Canada among others
According to Namoloh, the dangers of explosives does not lie in the use of explosives but in its aftermath which can result in death and mass destruction hence it is necessary that countries are ready to respond rapidly and appropriately if the need arise.
"Government has a responsibility to protect its citizens from dangerous and hazardous chemicals and substances. At the same time, we recognise the importance and the need for development within our outlined National Development Plans (NDP) and its explosive regulations as amended to regulate the administration and usage of explosives in Namibia," he said.
The minister added the escalating application of explosives in various areas such as mining, civil construction of roads and tunnels and oil exploration, among others, are also some of the reasons that will be discussed during the course of the meeting.
Namoloh pointed out the mining industry requires large amounts of explosives and that it is of economic and social importance.
"Hence, it is our duty to have explosive safety measures in such industries. Therefore, it is of importance that we use this platform to enhance operational readiness by establishing explosive safety and regulation strategies. Namibia is a mining country and it would be impossible for us to extract minerals without explosive, however, we have to ensure that it is safely maintained and handled at all times," he said.