Roofing project progresses

More than 2 000 houses in Arandis have asbestos roofs.

24 September 2018 | Infrastructure

Risto Kapendah, Arandis mayor; "Let us say no to health issues that one is able to prevent.”

Adolf Kaure

The Arandis Roofing Project has taken off successfully as the asbestos sheets were removed from 20 houses thus far.

Speaking at a recent press conference, the mayor of Arandis, Risto Kapendah, said that the replacing of the asbestos roofs is a milestone in the history of the town.

“As you may know the Arandis town council embarked on the Arandis Roofing Project earlier this year with the financial and technical support from Rössing Uranium and the Rössing Foundation.

Kapendah thanked the residents of Arandis for their cooperation saying that it is only by working together that the town can improve.

“The Arandis town council is leading Namibia in this roofing upgrade. It is a first in Namibia where old asbestos containing roof sheets are replaced with aluminium zinc material on this scale.

“I am urging all residents to be patient with roof replacements and to cooperate with all those who are involved in the Arandis Roofing Project.

“With this, I am urging the community to understand that we are working to improve Arandis town or its residents. Let us say no to health issues that one is able to prevent,” said Kapendah.

The mayor further thanked the zone leaders for their commitment in volunteering to replace the roofs in Arandis. Warranty certificates were presented to house owners whose houses work were completed.

Also speaking at the occasion, the managing director of Rössing Uranium, Werner Duvenhage, was pleased with the investment that his company has ploughed into the project.

“In partnership with the Arandis town council, Rössing Uranium is proud to be the sponsor for the Arandis Roofing Project to the tune of N$28 million over a five year period. We consider it as a sound investment that would greatly benefit the town of Arandis and its residents in years to come,” said Duvenhage.

It is believed that aluminum zinc sheets are much healthier than asbestos as inhaling asbestos particles can cause lung cancer and once someone inhales it into their lungs, it cannot be removed.

More than 2 000 houses in Arandis have asbestos roofs.The first phase of the project will see 833 houses refitted with zinc sheet roofs.

The process to remove asbestos roofs will be undertaken by professionals and the cost of replacing the roofs of each house amounts to N$50 000, however it will be done free of charge.

In the 1970s asbestos was used as a building material in Arandis. At the time there were no known health concerns. However, after a study conducted by Consulting Occupational Hygienist in 2008 to determine the exact nature of the exposure and the possible risks regarding possible mine closure, asbestos was identified as a risk. A plan of action was developed and set in motion over five years.

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