N$100 000 fine for culprits who litters in public areas

“It is really painful to see someone dumping rubbish just opposite your house. The culprits enjoy doing this and are people from all walks of life” says Mr Jacques Koopman, a resident of the new NHE extension, near Tamariskia graveyard who is tired of rubbish facing his house.

According to Koopman, the littering at the open space near his place of residence is very disturbing especially when the east wind blows, because it brings all the rubbish from the littering area into the yards of the people living in that area. Koopman says they have on various occasions visited the municipalities’ health department to lay complains about the littering but the municipality keeps on saying they will make a plan soon. “I have called a couple of times and my neighbour also went to the municipality’s health department to ask them to come clean this area but there have not been any positive response from the municipality yet. It pains us to see this rubbish every morning we wake up and every afternoon we return from work” says Koopman. Koopman further said that people sometimes throw dead dogs at the area and it brings a very bad smell to their homes.
The Swakopmund dumping site is only a few minutes away from where this littering takes place, the people who litters at the open area all owns vehicles but they do not make an effort to drive a few more minutes and dispose their waste at the dumping site to avoid upsetting fellow residents and making the town dirty stressed Koopman. The area have become the second dumping site for the residents. Does dumping fines still exists and are they active? The culprits are never afraid of being caught and they commit the crimes in broad daylight, they should be dealt with. “We see this people, we see their cars, some with business names on the sides, and some are fellow residents disposing of household waste. Why would you take your waste from your house and dump it opposite someone else’s home?” Koopman emphasised.
Illegal dumping of waste on open spaces as well as unoccupied premises is prohibited. In terms of the provision of The Waste Management Regulation: Local Authority Act, 1992, “prohibition of dumping” under chapter 5 stipulates that; (1) A person may not dump or deposit waste on any premises unless authorised for that purpose in writing by the council and subject to any conditions which may be imposed by the council. The Act further states that persons or parties that fail to comply with the aforementioned regulations are guilty of an offence and will be prosecuted.
According to the Swakopmund Municipality Spokesperson Mrs Aillie Gebhardt, any person who commits an offence with regard to illegal dumping is liable to a fine not exceeding N$500 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding two year or both. “The costs for clean-up of a polluted area may also be attached to an account of a resident or any party found to be guilty of an offence to the Environmental Act, Act 7 of 2007 which prescribes a penalty on conviction of a fine not exceeding N$100 000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years or both” Gebhardt emphasised.
Gebhardt further said that a clean-up campaign initiative to clean these areas will start very soon and sign boards will be placed at all open spaces around Mondesa and DRC.
The sign boards will aim at prohibiting the public from dumping waste at open spaces/areas. “The municipality will continue to ensure the cleanliness of open areas/spaces by placing skips containers at such areas and by doing this the municipality hope to change the residents’ perception of dumping refuse on open spaces. The residence are also requested not to dump their waste on open spaces” Gebhardt adds. The Awareness raising strategy on a cleaner environment will be submitted to Council for approval within the next month.
“Residents should become vigilant in protecting their immediate surrounding of their dwellings and should report all illegal dumping of refuse of any kind. Every resident of Swakopmund has an obligation to promote Swakopmund as the cleanest town in Namibia and to participate in all activities aimed at redeeming this status” concludes Gebhardt.
The community is advised to report any illegal dumping which may take place anywhere in Swakopmund to: 064-4104500 / 081 143 8767 / 081 143 8766.

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