Unabated sand mining in rural Namibia becoming an environmental scourge: official

WINDHOEK, Nov. 14– Illegal sand mining in Namibia’s rural areas has become a serious concern for the Ministry of Environment and Tourism, as the activities are contributing to the serious destruction of the environment, an official said.
The Ministry’s Chief Public Relation’s Officer, Romeo Muyunda in a statement Tuesday said the pits created by sanding mining are not rehabilitated and now pose a threat to human beings, livestock and wildlife.
“As Namibia seeks to achieve its developmental goals especially in the infrastructure development sector, building sand and gravel for roads have become valuable and essential resources in the construction sector,” he said.
Muyunda said sand is extracted on a daily basis to meet the demand of the sector but is mostly in uncoordinated manner.
According to him, to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development, all projects deemed to have adverse impacts on the environment require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), as per the country’s Environmental Management Act No 7 of 2007.
“Sand mining is one of such activities that require an EIA before it can be undertaken. Unfortunately, this legal requirement seems not to be understood by some communities in our country,” he said.
The ministry has since issued compliance orders to sand miners who have not conformed to provision of the Environmental Management Act and operated without the environmental clearance certificates. –¬†XINHUA