WINDHOEK, DEC. 4 – The annual Fish River Canyon clean-up campaign, as well as the Ondangwa clean-up campaign just came to an end, and proved another successful endeavor, with Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group retaining its role as one of the main sponsors.
The campaign was initiated by stakeholders in Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park (ARTP), including the MET; Gondwana Nature Reserve, and the Namibia Wildlife Resort (NWR) alongside NBL as one of the main sponsors.
Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) Warden at Ai-Ais Park, Southern Region Boly Shetukana said the annual Fish River Canyon hiking season is a very popular activity that attracts thousands of people from all across the globe… but: “Unfortunately, at the end of the hiking season the Canyon is littered with garbage left behind by the hikers. As a result, the annual Fish River Canyon clean-up campaign was brought to life.”
The five-day clean-up campaign was a “huge success” according to O&L Group CSI Coordinator, Venessa Mwiya.
“NBL and NWR Gondwana, together with the Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF), once again ensured that everything is in place for the success of the campaign. This included first aid kits, meat, assorted drinks, t-shirts, hats & water bottles, transport, heavy-duty refuse bags, lunch & breakfast as well as accommodation for the volunteers,” said Mwiya.
Volunteers were divided into groups (20km groups, and 60km groups) that entered the Canyon at different days. All groups exited the Canyon on the 27th of October.
Shetukana said the total amount of waste collected this year was approximately 127 kg which included bottles, tins, plastic, shoes, and clothes. This was a significatnt increase from last year’s 82.5 kg.
“However, the most collected waste was used toilet paper. The loads of waste was carried out by hands until the exit point at Ai-Ais where everything was weighed, separated and taken to the recycle plant. There were no recordings of incidents, injuries or fatalities during the 2018 Fish River Canyon clean-up campaign which contributed significantly to the success – apart from the temperatures during the cleanup that peaked above 45 degrees,” said Shekutana.
The 9th of November 2018 also saw the cleanup of Ondangwa, conducted by the Ondangwa Town Council on an annual basis, under the theme “Keep Ondangwa Clean”.
According to the Cleansing Officer – Environmental, Health & Safety Department at the Ondangwa Town Council, Loide Shiimi, the objective of this year’s campaign was to keep Ondangwa clean; to create awareness among residents on the importance of a healthy environment; and to promote ‘Reuse, Reduce and Recycle’ (3R’s) of waste materials.
“In order to achieve the objectives, we have engaged the whole community of Ondangwa in this exercise, such as formal and informal settlements, institutions, schools, businesses, and churches, among others,” said Shiimi.
The five-day cleaning started on Monday, 05th November 2018 and ended Friday, 09th November. A multitude of volunteers turned up from the Namibia Defence Force (NDF), Namibia Police (NAMPOL), Ruben Danger Ashipala Police Training Centre, COSDEC, Oluno Correctional Services (Prison), Kayec Trust, Ministry of Works & Transport (Department of Work), Ministry of Works & Transport (Department of Government Garage), Ministry of Agriculture (Veterinary), Oshikoto Regional Education, and Bank Windhoek.
During the clean up time, participants were in the running for winning some vouchers for their efforts.
The “cleaning competition” was divided into five (5) categories; Institutions, Informal Settlements, Cleanest School, Cleanest Bar and School Competition projects.
In the category of institutions, COSDEC ended as overall winner for being assessed the cleanest; Oluno Correctional Services ended in second place, and NAMPOL and Ruben Danger Ashipala Police Training Centre obtained third position. The winning vouchers (Pick n Pay shopping vouchers) valued at N$20,000 were sponsored by the O&L Group.
In conclusion Mwiya encouraged every Namibian to contribute to a clean Namibia this festive season, by refraining from littering, and keeping surrounding areas clean. – firstname.lastname@example.org