Namibian government asks Uukwambi Authority to stop illegal sand mining

sand miningNamibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) has asked to stop all illegal sand mining activities in the Uukwambi Traditional Authority till the operators get environmental clearance certificates from the government

As reported by New Era, the decision resulted from a meeting between MET’s chief inspect Josephat Hiwana and all the six district heads in the Uukwambi Traditional Authority at Uukwangula on 13 June 2018.

The decision was taken following criticism from the local people regarding on-going illegal sand mining activities in the Uukwambi traditional jurisdiction amid the allegations that sand miners offer bribes to regional leaders to continue illegal mining operations.

Illegal sand mining in Namibia poses threats to both livestock and local people, destroying the landscape, mahangu fields and grazing land. Therefore, Namibian government is set to take proper steps to ensure a systematic and environment-friendly way to mine sand from the region.

As for Namibia’s Environmental Management Act of 2007, no person can continue mining activity without obtaining an environmental clearance certificate (EIA) from the government. Hiwana told the traditional authority that mining sand in the absence of an environmental clearance certificate is tantamount to theft and should not be entertained.

Therefore, Hiwana stressed that the sand mining operators need an environmental clearance certificate, the absence of which will see strict action against the operators.

In addition to it, he further advised the traditional leaders to inform potential sand miners to comply with due processes to acquire permission to mine sand.

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