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Oranjemund gets own landfill – The Namibian

ORANJEMUND has become the fourth town in Namibia with a landfill after Windhoek, Walvis Bay, and Swakopmund.

The town council has fenced off a portion of land north of the town a few metres from the current dumpsite where no recycling activities are taking place.

Festus Nekayi, the town’s infrastructure, planning and technical services manager, says the site was planned for when the town was proclaimed, because the existing dumpsite was too close to residential areas.

“With the landfill, the idea is that the lining is done in such a way that it doesn’t affect the underground water. We also need a weighbridge in the event that people are going, so we gather statistics regarding how much refuse we are dumping there,” he says.

Nekayi says the landfill site will have a recycling and sorting facility, as well as two sections for domestic and hazardous waste.

With a sensitive and pristine environment, Nekayi says the town council has taken strong winds into consideration by incorporating a high fence to trap refuse.

He says the landfill will also be handling the high tyre volumes generated by the town’s diamond mine, which are currently kept at the mine.

Nekayi says the current dumpsite will be decommissioned once the landfill is operational.

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism has commended the action taken by the Oranjemund Town Council.

Ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda says the ministry aims to improve the current waste management practices in the country.

“Our wish is to have a clean environment, and less or no detrimental impacts resulting from the mismanagement of waste. Namibia is a dry country with a high dependency on groundwater, and any contamination from the mismanagement of waste can ruin the quality of our precious resource,” he says.

Most of the local authorities with environmental management plans have been issued with an environmental clearance certificate which guides the operations of their dumpsites while the certificate is valid.

Muyunda says most local authorities do not have general solid waste management plans in place.

This is pending the finalisation of the solid waste management regulations the ministry is currently working on.

“This has not been achieved, despite the compliance enforcement from the ministry. The biggest challenge highlighted by most local authorities is a lack of funds to improve their sites to a standard that is recommended as per the strategy,” he says.

Proposals are being discussed at both national and local authority level to improve the situation.

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