VISTORS to Namibia’s National Parks will not be allowed to take plastic bags with them into the facilities and will face stiff fines if they were found littering.
The Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, called on both the public and holiday makers to observe littering rules in a bid to protect the environment.
“Litter and irresponsible waste disposal can contaminate the soil, air and water with toxins, chemicals and disease causing bacterial agents,” Shifeta said.
He stressed that littering is one of the most visible and persistent environmental issues facing Namibia which relies on tourism to generate revenue. He added that a substantial amount of unnecessary resources are spent each year to clean up and repair damage to the environment.
Minister Pohamba also called on members of the public remain vigilant during Festive Season and report wildlife crimes immediately as poaching and illegal possession of wildlife products also causes substantial damage to the tourism industry.
“Poachers may view the holiday season as the opportune time to commit crimes. However, the public should be reassured that measures have been put in place to ensure that our national parks and other conservation areas are sufficiently guarded,” he added.
The minister said both ground and aerial patrols will carried out throughout the Festive Season to prevent poaching and other wildlife crimes as far as possible.
“Poaching and littering have a negative impact on Namibia’s natural environment, which is a key driver of our tourism industry and a source of vital revenue for many communities.”