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New sand mining hearing date set

New sand mining hearing date set

Maria David

 

A NEW date has been set for an appeal hearing over the sand mining operation that has been met with hostility from residents of Ondando-Epale.

 

The hearing is now scheduled for 24 September at the Ondando-Epale burrow pit in the Oniipa constituency.

 

The initial hearing date last month was postponed by Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, after the Ondonga Traditional Authority failed to attend the meeting.

 

The hearing was necessitated by a dispute over the suspension of sand-mining activities at the burrow pit.

 

hearing date sand mining operation residents Ondando-Epale
SAND MINING: A member of the Ondado community pointing the piece of land destined for possible sand mining. Photo by Maria David

 

The aim of the hearing is to decide whether or not sand mining activities can continue.

 

In a letter seen by Informanté, the ministry said no excuse will be tolerated for nonattendance this time around, and that the decision of Shifeta will be binding.

 

“Should anybody in this matter fail to appear for the hearing that the minister will preside over, the appeal hearing will continue in their absence,” reads the document.

 

In 2020, an Environmental Clearance Certificate was issued to the Ondonga Traditional Authority by the Environment Commissioner for sand mining at the Ondado-Epale village.

 

The community of the Ondado-Epale village, however, objected as they claim that they were tricked into signing an acceptance letter.

 

According to them, they were informed that they are signing an attendance letter following a community meeting about the proposed sand mining in 2020.
 

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