GOBABIS, 24 APR – Shark Island, notorious for housing a German concentration camp where hundreds of Ovaherero and Nama people were kept in pre-independence Namibia, could soon become a national heritage site.
The National Heritage Council intends to submit a recommendation to the line minister on the declaration of Shark Island at Lüderitz as a national heritage site within the next two months.
The recommendation will be done in accordance with Section 30 (4) of the National Heritage Act, 2004 (Act 27 of 2004).
In a public notice on Monday, the National Heritage Council announced its intentions and called for public participation in the process.
“The history of the site confirms the historical value of the site, while the site also attracts tourists from different parts of the world,” the public notice reads.
The Shark Island Peninsula is situated north of the Namport premises, but it does not fall within the local authority boundary of Lüderitz.
The entire Shark Island Peninsula measures approximately 23 hectares.
The site was first used as a prison where Germans kept all prisoners of war that they had captured, and was later transformed into a concentration camp.
A memorial was erected on site in honour of erstwhile Nama leader, Cornelius Fredericks, and many others who perished there.
Meanwhile, the National Heritage Council, in a separate public notice on Monday also proposed the recommendation of Driedoornvlagte Fossil Reef as a national heritage site.
Driedoornvlagte is situated outside Klein Aub settlement near Rietoog. The fossil reef covers an area of over one million hectares extending through Farm Rocky Mountains No 626, farm Driedoornvlagte, Farm Diamant, Klein Aub Farms and Farm Kuburuchap.
It hosts three unique, 548-million-year-old fossils namely Cloudina, Namacalathus and Namapoikia.
“Namibia is considered one of the countries with the best and most well exposed geology, hence easy access to outcrops that are endowed with interesting geological remains,” the National Heritage Council noted.
Driedoornvlagte is said to be the only one that consists of a sizable reef with such biodiversity of different species.
“Geologists and palaeontologists, as well as international research institutes visit Farm Rocky Mountain to study these ancient fossils, documenting it and trying to understand one of the most intriguing problems in science – the origin of the complex life forms,” the public notice reads.
The public is called upon to launch any counter submissions and requests of hearings to the National Heritage Council in a period of less than 60 days from the date of the public notice.