Environment Ministry to hold workshop on sand mining at Ongwediva

Environment Ministry to hold workshop on sand mining at Ongwediva
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The Ministry of Environment and Tourism will host a consultative workshop at Ongwediva on Thursday to discuss uncoordinated sand mining activities taking place in northern Namibia.
A media statement issued Tuesday by the ministry’s Chief Public Relations Officer, Romeo Muyunda said sand mining has become a serious concern for the ministry.
“As Namibia seeks to achieve its development goals especially in the infrastructure development sector, building sand and gravel for roads have become valuable and essential resources in the construction industry and are extracted on a daily basis to meet the demand of the sector in an uncoordinated manner,” the statement said.
It said to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development, all projects deemed to have adverse impacts on the environment require an environmental impact assessment as per the Environment Management Act before it can be undertaken.
The legal requirement however seems not to be understood by some communities and the ministry continues to be inundated with complaints on illegal sand mining operations, especially from community members in rural areas.
“These activities are destructive to the environment and dangerous to human beings, livestock and wildlife when the pits are left unrehabilitated,” the statement said.
The workshop, which is open to the public, is aimed at educating people and seeking amicable solutions on sand mining activities and will discuss the interests, roles, needs and values of all parties involved in allocating land for sand mining.
Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta, will officiate at the workshop.