ARANDIS, 27 MAR – The Rössing Foundation is financing a roofing project of N.dollars 28 million that will see the asbestos roofs on houses in Arandis replaced.
About 2 000 houses built by Rössing Uranium at Arandis since 1970 have asbestos roofs, which will now be replaced with corrugated iron sheets.
When disturbed or somehow eroded, asbestos releases microscopic fibre that can be breathed in. This can cause serious and fatal illnesses including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis, a lung disease.
Briefing the media on the matter on Tuesday, Arandis Mayor Risto Kapenda said the project is a precautionary measure.
Kapenda said the council does not want to take any risks, especially where the health of residents is compromised, hence the decision to replace all the roofs.
In the first phase of the project, which starts next Wednesday, 833 roofs will be replaced.
Work in the remaining phases will be carried out over the next two years.
“We spoke to the community and told them why this is important, we are going to ensure that no one is exposed to the fibres during the replacement of the roofs. Professionals have been hired to do the work,” said the mayor.
Also speaking at the event, Rössing’s Manager of Engineering and Projects, Anca Burger said there is no indication so far that anyone has been affected by the asbestos in Arandis.
During the replacement of their roofs, homeowners will be accommodated in tents on the local sports field.