The Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) launched their festive season clean-up campaign on the 18th November 2015. The anti-litter initiative was dubbed the #JustBinIt Campaign.
The Deputy Ministry stressed that Namibia is faced with an extensive variety of economic, social and environment challenges. It is thus crucial that the country achieves sustainable economic development while simultaneously addressing pending environmental issues as soon as possible. He emphasised that this is not only for Namibia but also to serve as an example for other African countries, and therefore the country should improve its human environment, in both rural and urban areas.
“Waste management is not merely the responsibility of public institutions, but that which falls with each and every one of us. The main problems with waste management in many towns and villages across Namibia are either a complete absence of such services, or lack of a well organised system of integrated waste management,” said Tommy Nambahu, Deputy Minister of the MET.
Nambahu stated that simple yet critical aspects are often neglected, such as the placing of adequate quantity of waste bins at sources of waste generating points, provision for recycling initiatives for community empowerment, and most importantly the fostering of public education, awareness and advocacy.
“Litter remains one of the most pressing problems in less-privileged communities. While other less visible forms of pollution probably have a higher impact on the living environment, litter, being so visible compounds various issues,” The Deputy Minister said.
Rubbish has a direct impact on water and soil pollution, creating a of serious health risk. It also affects the tourism potential of surrounding areas and impacts the social structure of citizens.
The greater influx of people into urban areas has contributed to the deteriorating conditions in Namibia. Other causes include but are not limited to the lack in environmental awareness and educational programmes, the severity of the socio-economic situation in our country, and the disintegration of existing control measures have complicated the problem.
“Government is seriously considering introducing a charge on plastic bags and other legal instruments to encourage businesses and consumers to reduce litter. While we have been making great progress in recent years, we still need to get to a place where everyone takes responsibility for their own actions and their own garbage – initiatives such as this will help us achieve that by bringing individuals, communities and businesses together to take pride of their environment,” Nambahu warned.
The MET calls upon its numerous stakeholders and “clean up groups” countrywide to embrace the project and get heavily involved during the period of November 15 and December 15 2015.
Nambahu stressed that this would be a great opportunity for individuals of all ages, nationwide, to tidy up their communities, and show how much pride they have in their neighbourhoods and generally, in Namibia’s beautiful landscapes. Namibia is NOT a Trash Bin, so #JustBinIt .