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Points to ponder during the Festive Season

Points to ponder during the Festive Season

Staff Reporter

THE Location of Walvis Bay along the Namibian coast and environment make for thrilling adventure tourism with most of the fun awaiting visitors and tourists revolving around activities offered by the natural environment, such as the sand dunes and the ocean.

 

Walvis Bay has grown over the years and boasts a metropolitan atmosphere without being a big, impersonal place to live and visit.

 

In the past, the festive season has also seen its share of injuries and damage to property due to irresponsible behaviour and disregard for road safety and fellow road users. Such behaviour not only spoils the festive mood, but can also cause the loss of lives. Similarly, the desert environment is home to many unique plants and small animals that are destroyed by such behaviour.

 

To ensure a peaceful and safe holiday this year, visitors are reminded of the municipal regulations relating to the control of the seashore, the sea and its environment that have been in force since January 2004. The control over recreational activities and permissible routes for off-road vehicles and quad bikes as introduced by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism a few years ago remains in place.

 

Picture for illustrative purposes only. Photo: Contributed

 

Littering

Visitors are prohibited from dumping, depositing, leaving, spilling, dropping or placing anything that affects the cleanliness of beaches. This includes leaving behind bait, fish hooks or offal on the beaches.

 

These actions will be regarded as a health nuisance, alternatively as indecent or offensive behaviour, and carry fines of N$1,000.00 or three months imprisonment, or both. A similar fine will be imposed on those found guilty of damaging municipal property, notice boards, fences or any local authority building along the beaches.

 

The Municipality appeals to everyone to report any vandalised, broken or damaged municipal facility through the following means:

Tel: 064- 275 000 / 081 128 3238
Fax: 064-205 590
Email: pr@walvisbaycc.org.na
Photos can be emailed to the address above.

 

Camping at Langstrand

• Visitors are not allowed to camp on the seashore overnight.

• Bonfires or braai’s are not allowed on the beach unless suitable and removable containers are used.

• Do not leave ash or coals on the beach.

• No pets are allowed in the camping area.

• No driving of quadbikes in the camping sites is allowed.

• Pet owners are to pick up their pet droppings from all walkways and grass areas.

 

Fishing

A fishing permit is required for recreational angling and can be obtained at the offices of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources in Walvis Bay or Swakopmund. For more information, please contact the offices in Swakopmund at 064 – 410 1000 or in Walvis Bay at 064 – 201 6111. Fishing is allowed at the Paaltjies area, and north of Walvis Bay up to the Swakop River mouth. Unwanted fish (sharks etc.) must be returned to the sea while bait and fishing tackle must be removed from the beach. Remember to use only the designated fish cleaning spots and refuse bins.

 

Off-road Vehicles and Quad Bikes

A permit is required for off-road or dune excursions by quad bike or four-wheel drive vehicles. Permits and identifying stickers are available free of charge at the Ministry of Environment and Tourism offices in Swakopmund (Tel: 064-404 576) and Walvis Bay (Tel: 064-205 971/2) and Dare Devil Adventures at Langstrand. No vehicles other than emergency services are allowed to drive in vegetated and fenced-off areas.

 

When using public roads, quad bikes must be licensed and riders must wear helmets at all times. Quad bikes are only allowed in the central dune belt between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay as demarcated by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Motorbikes and quad bikes (other than registered tour operators with permission) are not allowed in the following areas:

• on the beach between the Swakop River and Sandwich Harbour (including Pelican Point),

• between the low water mark and the first crest of the western side of the sea-facing dunes between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay up to the Kuiseb Delta,

• on any un-proclaimed roads or tracks on the eastern edge of the dune belt, any gravel plains, or anywhere in the Swakop River.

 

The central dune area between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay may be accessed from the demarcated corridors opposite Langstrand, Dolphin Beach and at Dune 7.

 

Traffic Control

The Municipal Traffic Division and NAMPOL Traffic will exercise strict control over road use and adherence to traffic rules and signs. Roadblocks are set up to ensure that road users adhere to traffic safety regulations. Road users are reminded to wear seat belts at all times and to adhere to the speed limits. Motorists should note that various speed limits apply between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. Avoid drinking or using a cell phone while driving. Also make sure that you have your driver’s licence in the car when driving as well as the required emergency triangle. Switch on your headlights between dusk and dawn, and in foggy or hazy conditions.

 

Fireworks

Residents and visitors are reminded that it is prohibited to set off or burn fireworks. Permission to shoot fireworks must be obtained from the Namibian Police and the fire. If permission has been granted, extreme care should be taken when handling or setting off fireworks. Do not allow children to play with or shoot fireworks. For events, please contact Mr. George King (Pyrotechnician) for further clarification on 0811285491.

 

Dolphin Park

1. No tents are allowed on grass areas, as it obstructs the view of other park users.

2. No smoking of any kind is allowed on the premises.

3. No bottles or drinking glasses are allowed in or around the swimming pool area as they can cause injury to other park users.

4. No braais or fires are permitted on the grass areas or walkways.

5. No pets are allowed at any resort.

6. Parents must attend to their children at all times.

7. Loud music is not allowed in the park area, while any other form of noise pollution which may disturb other park users is also prohibited.

8. No ball games on grass areas are allowed as it causes inconvenience to other park users.

9. Swimwear is required for the use of the slides (no other garments allowed).

10. Operating hours of Dolphin Swimming Pool are from 10h00 to 17h00 and during public holidays from 08h00 to 17h00.

11. Entrance tags are always to be placed on wrists.

12. Parking of vehicles is as at own risk.

13. Users must provide their own braai grids and to clean up after themselves.

14. No swimming floating devices are allowed at the Swimming Pool (no birds, doughnuts, lounge chairs, tubes etc.)

 

Street food

During the festive season a great number of street vendors will be presenting their delicacies to the public. Below are important health tips for the public when buying street food.

• If the stall is unsanitary, purchasing food there will be at your own risk.

• Take a little time to watch a street vendor and notice their habits of cleaning utensils, using tongs and keeping the food covered.

• Do not eat food that is not protected from insects which can contaminate even freshly cooked dishes.

• Make sure the food you are getting is being made for take-away and go for stalls that serve hot, freshly prepared food.

• Watch the temperature of the food.

• Food from street vendors should be cooked thoroughly. Warm or cold food should be kept or displayed under the correct temperatures.

• Warm foods should be above 65 ̊C.

• Cold foods should be below 5 ̊C.

• Avoid dairy products as they are more susceptible to spoilage if not maintained under cold temperatures to stay fresh.

• Wash all fruits and vegetables under running water before eating or cooking.

• Always wash your hands before eating.

• Street vendors are subject to national and local health regulations including certification and registration and regular inspections by Health Inspectors. As a customer you are entitled to ask a vendor if they are registered or to show their registration certificates. If a vendor is not registered to sell food, do not buy from them

 

Keeping of pets

It is part of our mission to help people and animals live harmoniously together in their community. Nevertheless, there are times when certain types of behaviour disrupt residents’ peaceful enjoyment of their homes and property, especially during the festive season. Listed below are some common community nuisance issues involving pets.

 

Cleaning up after pets: Excessive accumulation of animal waste on a pet owner’s property creates unsanitary conditions that are offensive to neighbours and unsafe for people and pets. Pet owners who fail to pick up waste deposited by their pets while on walks also contribute to unsanitary conditions for others. Pet owners are required by health regulations to ensure their pets are not a nuisance to others. This includes regularly removing and disposing of pet waste from one’s private property as well as removing and discarding their pet’s waste that has been deposited on others’ property as well as public property.

 

Free running dogs: Regulations Relating to the Keeping of Dogs requires that dogs be restrained by a leash whenever they are in public. It is unlawful to allow dogs to run loose as they can pose a danger to themselves and people. They may be hit by cars, attacked by other animals, etc.

 

Unsterilized dogs at large will breed with other unsterilized dogs and create more unwanted pets in the community. Pet owners are encouraged to be responsible and ensure their pets are safely restricted to their personal property.

 

Free roaming cats: While there is no leash law for cats, cat owners are still prohibited from allowing their cats to be a nuisances to others. Sometimes, free-roaming cats trespass onto other peoples’ properties, using flower beds or sandboxes for litter boxes. This causes unsanitary conditions and is unlawful.

 

Animal Noise Complaints: We understand that ongoing animal noises, such as barking dogs or crowing roosters, can be annoying and disturb the peace and enjoyment of your residence. It is our goal to help correct these frustrating situations. Pursuant to the Regulations Relating to the Keeping of Dogs and Animals, any animal which barks, whines, or howls in a continuous or untimely fashion is considered a public nuisance. Every person who allows a public nuisance to exist, after notice in writing from the Health Section to cease this nuisance, may be charged with a misdemeanor.

 

Admission of Guilt Fines

Amounts determined as admission of guilt fines in terms of section 54, 56, 57(5)(a) and 72 of Criminal Procedure Act, (Act 51 of 1977) in respect of offences committed in terms of the following legislation: The Local Authorities Act (Act 23 of 1992) and Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Regulations (GN 151 of 2011)

 

Fines for various transgressions may vary between N$500 and N$2 000

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