I use to be one of the Namibian citizens who always liked to go to our beautiful Etosha National Park and enjoy myself.
I took my family to these beautiful parks and my children were happy and comfortable. The variety of wildlife and wonderful ecological track of land in those parks made us so excited and relax.
The workers of those parks also looked after us in an extraordinary polite and considerate way and they were always making sure each moment we spent with them was perfect. Unfortunately, I was unable to go the parks for some time for reasons beyond my control.
Now I was surprised, shocked and upset to get revelation in an article in the Namibian newspaper of 17 May 2019 titled “Beautiful Etosha is Disgusting for Tourists”.
Apparently the situation in these wonderful parks has now deteriorated and became progressively worse. It is revealed in that article “Okaukuejo campsite and surrounding road is so utterly awful that we are forced to cancel the bookings”.
The article further said that “the ladies ablution facilities at the Okaukuejo camp are non-functioning. Only one toilet worked. There was a large sewage leak outside the bathroom… Only one showerhead worked. The smell was awful, the sinks dirty. There was rubbish overflowing in the ladies’ bins.” The author of the article further went on revealing that “the next stop was the first picnic stop behind the Okaukuejo –beyond disgusting, the bins overflowing, clearly never cleared, litter everywhere. Human faeces in several spots on the ground, inside the enclosure and the picnic spot looks like a dumpsite”. There were also other revelation that shocked and surprised me.
It was hard to believe that Etosha National Park which I always was visiting and highly admired have all of a sudden deteriorated to such an extent.
If what is written in the article is really the true picture, there is an urgent need for serious intervention to remedy the situation and revive our parks. We have to do everything to attract tourists and not frustrate them with deteriorating situation.
The infrastructure and environment of our parks must be kept in a conducive and attractive manner because the tourists, whether foreign or local, surely will only like a place which will make them happy and safe.
I can’t help but feel so sad to read that our Etosha National Park apparently has suddenly dilapidated. It is imperative for Namibians to keep our parks in good order not only because of attracting tourists but also for future generations to continue enjoying our natural and tourist environment and resources. To deeply change our predicament we need to seriously be determined to keep our parks and infrastructure very attractive.
To achieve that not only the workers but the top administrators must leave to the expectation of the visitors of the parks. People who visit our tourist sites and parks must be offered with good and positive experience of all time. Particularly our foreign quests must leave our country with everlasting positive impression so that they can be our ambassadors for life.
In other words our desire must be to ensure that each visit of our quests to our parks will be perfect and remain memorable. The parks must remain marvelous and extremely beautiful. I know we may not have enough finances to spend now but surely that does not mean that we cannot do something to solve the problems. In fact some of the revenue accrued from the parks might even be used to keep the parks in good condition, instead of entirely depending on the handouts from treasury.
Instead of coexisting with worry, dread, stress, and hoping that one day this situation will go away, we should rather immediately and in determined manner take remedial measures. Worry will not take us anywhere unless we take aggressive actions to bring about suitable situations to the problem.