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Namibia inaugurates first ever refuse-derived fuel recycling plant

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Namibia’s first ever refuse-derived fuel recycling plant was inaugurated in Windhoek in the Khomas region Friday.

The plant is a joint venture between Namibian company Rent-A-Drum and Ohorongo Cement, a company set up in 2007 by the German cement producer Schwenk Zement.

Rent-A-Drum will collect more than 12,000 tons of non-recyclable waste material that will be converted into alternative fuel for use by Ohorongo Cement.

Apart from reducing the cost of fossil fuels, the 200 million Namibian dollar (15.7 million U.S. dollars) plant will also enhance Namibia’s quest to contribute in the fight against global warming.

Environment minister Pohamba Shifeta who officially inaugurated the plant said the joint venture has so far created 60 jobs.

Shifeta also said Namibia should recognize that waste recycling is a key component of modern waste reduction and the third component of the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle of the waste management hierarchy.

The inauguration of the plant, he further said, means that Namibia will be at the forefront in tackling recyclable and non-recyclable materials by turning them into reusable materials.

Khomas governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua who also attended the inauguration said Namibia has had waste management challenges because of lack of institutional capacity in some towns.

“Khomas region was not spared, especially as it is faced with a huge influx of urban migrants therefore doing nothing to change our waste management practices is no longer an option,” she said.



UN expert urges Namibia to invest in healthcare

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- A United Nations Expert on Monday urged Namibia to invest in healthcare as the projected growth rate for the older population in sub-Saharan Africa is faster than any other region.

Speaking at a press conference in Namibia capital Windhoek, Rosa Kornfeld said that this will result in immense pressure on the care system as a growing number of older persons will be living with chronic diseases and disability.

“Low population density and accelerated levels of urbanization have the potential to erode the traditional family care system. Further investment by the government in health and care infrastructure is required to provide alternatives to the older persons in rural areas,” she said.

She added that care can no longer be considered simply a family matter and called upon government to step up its efforts to revise the Aged Persons Act in order to fully provide for the rights, protection care and welfare of older people.

The expert has been in Namibian for the past three weeks where she had a chance to meet with older people and representatives of local authorities as well as civil society representatives. She was presenting preliminary findings for a report which will come out in September.

She commended government for its political determination and vision on how to improve the lives of all Namibians by 2030 and to protect their human rights and urged the government to deliver on its promises.



Sub-Saharan Africa HIV prevention response meet set for Namibia

WINDHOEK Namibia (Xinhua) -- Regional experts including top government officials, leading clinicians and researchers, civil society advocates and program implementers will be in Namibia’s coastal town Swakopmund, to discuss HIV prevention response in sub-Saharan Africa.

The British High Commission and Wilton Park, an executive agency of the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Monday said the three day meet will start on March 8 to 10.

Namibia’s Health Minister Bernard Haufiku is set to open the session, which will run under the theme, ‘Building a stronger HIV prevention response in Sub-Saharan Africa.’ Namibia’s first lady, Monica Geingos will also grace the event.

According to the British High Commission, participants will discuss what HIV prevention efforts work best, and how these can be expanded and funded across sub-Saharan Africa to best meet the needs of diverse groups at high risk.

Furthermore the groups will identify opportunities to deliver prevention to key populations, to overcome existing barriers and to ensure prevention can be prioritized while treatment for HIV continues to be scaled up.

Earlier in February, health experts from eastern and southern Africa regions’ were in Windhoek, discussing HIV prevalence among young adolescent girls and young women.


Project on migration, environment and climate change launched in Namibia

WINDHOEK, (Xinhua) -- Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Tuesday launched Project on Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for policy in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean in Windhoek.

The project, according to Head of Office at IOM in Namibia Lilian Ambuso, aims to increase knowledge and awareness about the relationship between migration and environmental change, including climate change, to inform the formulation of related national and regional policy and operational planning.

“The project will see national governments and operational partners from participating countries to have increased their capacity to streamline environmental change, including climate change into migration management policies,” she said.

The project is being carried out in four countries, namely, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique and Namibia. “These four are some of the most climate-affected countries in the world, with increasingly significant impacts on population movement,” said Ambuso.

Also speaking at the launch, FAO Representative Babagana Ahmadu said that the launch of the project is timely and represent a milestone in addressing climatic challenges, as the data will serve in providing evidence-based solutions as it will translate into the development of a SADC policy guiding regional document on migration, environment and climate change.

Meanwhile, Peter Muteyauli, Director of Environmental Affairs in the Ministry of Environment and Tourism said that through the project Namibia is set to gain a clear understanding and insight into issues, and have clear interventions on how to address the nexus of migration and climate change.

The project also responds to the call of CoP21 for countries to make effort and fight negative impacts of climate change.

In Namibia, the project is being implemented by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, Ministry of Environment and Office of the Prime Minister, with seed funding from the IOM. 


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