Recycling Waste In The Etosha National Park

19 Sep 2023

September 16 is the annual World Cleanup Day. The aim is to mobilise everybody worldwide, governments and the private sector alike to clean up their surroundings or a specific area.  

The Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Forestry celebrated this day in the Etosha National Park at the Anderson Gate, also known as the Ombika Gate. 
A mobile recycling system has been set up there, donated by the recycling company Rent-a-Drum. 

The idea is to empower the Hai//om community based in Ombika near Okaukuejo, to manage the day-to-day operations of the recycling centre, sorting all recyclables, bundling them into bales and selling them to Rent-A-Drum to earn an income. 

The mobile recycling station near Okaukuejo


After a while, the recycling project will be borne by the community itself. The Hai//kom were the original inhabitants of what today is the Etosha National Park. The last few individuals were removed in the late Sixties and have since then been housed near Okaukuejo.      

Environment, Tourism and Forestry Minister Pohamba Shifeta said during the World Cleanup Day, the mobile recycling plant was a milestone. 
“This station is not only intended for Ombika/ Anderson Gate, it serves as a beacon of hope for all the rest camps in Etosha and the lodges nearby, the Minister said.  
The mobile station can process up to 100 tons of recyclable materials per month with one press. 

Shifeta said on average a tourist generates 500 grams of recyclable waste every day. With around 2,500 tourists visiting Etosha National Park and surrounding lodges every day, that equates to a huge amount of recyclable materials being produced every day. 

Recycling was an effective way to reduce the waste burden and protect the pristine beauty of Namibia, said Shifeta. He noted that recycling efforts could however be geared up across the country and his ministry would intensify awareness.  

Brigitte Weidlich

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