Namibia is known for its pristine environment and landscapes that attract substantial tourists; therefore, the lack of solid waste management, if unattended, may lead to significant environmental problems such as soil/land, water, and aesthetic pollution.
Therefore, to ensure the environment is well managed within the Etosha National Park, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) Limited; the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT), and the Hai-//om community have established a solid waste management team.
NWR managing director Matthias Ngwangwama said: “The solid waste management team is a great initiative, as it offers an opportunity for different individuals within the Etosha National Park to work together. Because, without managing our solid waste, we, as Namibia, risk our reputation of being the destination of choice for various tourists”.
He further stated that, “Although the solid waste management initiative is only running in the Etosha National Park, with the involvement of volunteers, I hope that the current volunteers will turn this initiative into a business enterprise that will run across all the National Parks in the country. I equally want to appreciate Rent-a-Drum, one of our long-standing partners in managing our solid waste. At the same time, I am also encouraging more stakeholders to join us in tackling solid waste, which will then see an improvement in our environment”.
At the launch of the solid waste management team about two weeks ago, NWR also marked Arbor Day.
Ever since 1992, Namibia has been observing Arbor Day to create awareness on the importance of conserving trees and discouraging human activities that threaten the sustainability of Namibia’s trees and forests, such as deforestation and land degradation.
NWR’s environmental and compliance specialist Fransiska Nghitila noted: “Celebrating Arbor day was fun, and the team enjoyed planting new trees. The day saw us planting 40 indigenous trees to replace the ageing ones in Okaukuejo. We also planted 14 and 25 trees in Namutoni and Olifantsrus, respectively. As the popular quote by Warren Buffet states, ‘Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone decided to plant a tree’. It is, therefore, important that we all observe this day for our future generations”.