REHOBOTH, Mar. 29 – The Ministry of Environment and Tourism on Wednesday dispatched an inspection team to Oiltech Namibia at Aris, near Windhoek, to investigate allegations of pollution by the public.
In a statement availed to Nampa on Thursday, the ministry’s spokesperson Romeo Muyunda said the team inspected the site and found no truth to the allegations.
Muyunda said it is not the first time the site is inspected. It was also inspected by the Environmental Commissioner last year, which found that the site is operated in an enclosed system meant for smoke and odour recovery.
Three text messages were sent to a daily newspaper with complaints. One read, ‘We are at risk after inhaling the fumes of this company recycling oil at Aris. Why can’t they move further away from the community or learn from Wesco Oil Company or close down, because they are a health risk.’
A report by the Department of Environmental Affairs issued by Muyanda said the site has pollution control measures in place and monitoring reports were sent to their offices.
The report said the only smoke observed came from the exhaust pipes, which is normal for any combustion process.
The inspection team however instructed the project owner to extend the exhaust pipes in line with standards of the International Standards Organisation or recognised standard institutions in Namibia within a period of three weeks, to which the owner agreed.
Meanwhile, Oiltech Namibia also released a statement on Wednesday saying an enclosed system that is monitored by five pollution stations are situated on-site and at points in the Krumhuk community, including the school.
It said samples are sent to an independent company in South Africa for analysis and they then issue a full report on the air samples.
It further said this report forms part of Oiltech’s continuous Environmental Management Plan that is submitted bi-annually to the Ministry of Environment.
“We are in the business of cleaning up the environment, why would we pollute the environment as it would be very detrimental to our operation and very energy inefficient. Oiltech Namibia keeps the environment clean of waste oil that would otherwise be dumped in our landfills and eventually find its way to our water reservoirs and aquifers,” the statement said.
The ministry urged members of the public with information on alleged pollution to share such information with their offices.