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Kambwa, Ongandjera clash over sand mining

2021-09-24  Nuusita Ashipala

Kambwa, Ongandjera clash over sand mining
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A war of words has erupted between northern businessman David Sheehama David, affectionately known as Kambwa, and the Ongandjera Traditional Authority over the contentious issue of sand mining. 

David has accused the traditional authority of interfering with his sand mining project at Okaloko, outside Okahao, in the Omusati region. 

According to David, some headmen want to prohibit him from extracting sand while rehabilitating the pit. 

David was given a sand mining environmental certificate by the environment ministry in 2018 but this permit lapsed in April this year. 

He said he has now been given until December by the environment ministry to rehabilitate the pit.

Ongandjera Traditional Authority spokesperson Sakeus Shangula refuted claims that they are interfering in the businessman’s mining project. 

Shangula said there was nothing left to mine at Okaloko, while adding David is no longer a valid permit holder.  “The problem at hand is that Kambwa does not want the authority to charge him for the load that he is extracting from the pit. His licence has expired; he no longer has authority to mine at Okaloko,” Shangula said. 

Spokesperson for the environment ministry Romeo Muyunda said one cannot mine sand once the environmental certificate has expired. 

He said, in an instance where it is happening, the traditional authority should have informed the ministry to take action. 

“If it is happening, the traditional authority must inform us so that we take appropriate action,” said Muyunda. David claims he has completed 60% of the rehabilitation at Okaloko. 

The businessman said the current trend of events is worrisome. 

“This certainty is worrisome and is driving towards insinuation that the company is mining sand for its benefit and not for the benefit of the community,” said David. 

Apart from mining sand for commercial purposes, David said he is also contributing to the country’s economy by paying taxes and providing employment to the employees. 

Muyunda said the activity contributes to the economic growth of the country; however, if he does not have the necessary papers, it is illegal.  “The procedures must be followed. He should follow due processes and apply for a renewal of his environmental certificate,” said Muyunda. 


2021-09-24  Nuusita Ashipala

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