Cleanest town battle heats up
The municipality of Walvis Bay is going all out to ensure that the harbour town becomes Namibia’s Cleanest Town of the Year.
02 June 2019 | Environment
David Ushona; Walvis Bay Municipality; "The intention is to provide every second ghetto on the premises with a bin."
The harbour town Walvis Bay is one of four finalists in the Namibia Media Holdings (NMH) Cleanest Town of the Year competition and going all out to ensure it wins the competition.
To achieve this, the municipality embarked on numerous initiatives to maintain a clean and healthy environment.
David Uushona, manager of solid waste and environmental management at the municipality, explained that one of the first initiatives started involved dealing with open erven misused as illegal dumping sites.
“To curb illegal dumping we wrote letters to the owners and gave them time to clean up or the option of the municipality charging for cleaning these areas in particular. This move was partly a success.”
Uushona said since this effort required a lot of time, resources and organising to clean, the ‘Team Up To Clean Up’ campaign came about.
Kuisebmond was the first suburb to be cleaned in September 2017 with the help of the navy, army, Namport, Walvis Bay citizens, schools and local ministries to kick-start the campaign.
This was followed by a cleaning operation hosted in Narraville in October.
“We tackled the town area in early 2018 and on 1 May heeded president Hage Geingob’s call followed by a car wreck removal exercise.”
Usually when the municipality has to remove a car wreck the owner is charged, but this was a free exercise and is ongoing.
The municipality also facilitated a pre-festive clean-up activities at the beach areas from Walvis Bay up to Long Beach in preparation of the holiday-goers.
Council went a step further and resolved to allocate specific areas such as parks and greenbelts, open spaces and access roads, trade areas, sand removal, construction and building rubble, car washes and the task of raising awareness to councillors in 2017.
Uushona also emphasised that the Walvis Bay landfill site is one of the few in country with a landfill management plan, and has been officially gazetted as a waste deposit site.
Council allocated an area to Rent-A-Drum to establish a material recovery facility in 2017.
The municipality is also in the final phases of signing a concession with waste power generators.
The idea is to take non-recyclable waste and turn it into energy. This will be a first for Namibia.
Council also signed an agreement with the Otto Heringel Trust to regulate the use of plastic bags in Walvis Bay.
A competition for schools, called ‘My Trash, My Treasure’, in collaboration with the Swakopmund municipality challenged schools to come up with innovative ideas on how to turn waste into useable items.
The municipality is also in talks to start ‘an extra bin’ campaign.
“The current situation in Walvis Bay is that numerous houses have additional shacks in their yards. With more people, there’s more waste and usually when the refuse bin is full, the waste ends up in the street. The intention is to provide every second ghetto on the premises with a bin.”
He reiterated that efforts to maintain a clean and healthy environment is ongoing, with council busy drafting an Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan as well as a Landfill Site Development Plan.