Naraville Residents Object to Storage of Explosives

NARRAVILLE residents in Walvis Bay expressed concern with the storage of dangerous goods, including explosives and radioactive material, near the area.

This comes after companies namely the Native Storage Facility and Enviro Solutions consulted the local authority and Namport proposing to collect such goods around the town for storage near Narraville.

The companies want to renovate a communication bunker, about 30km south of Walvis Bay, used by the South African army as a storage temporary facility before taking the goods to a long-term facility to be built at Farm 58, a few kilometres away.

On Tuesday, the residents took on the owner of Enviro Solutions, Alan Jenneker, and project leader at Native Storage Facility, Tomas Jonas.

Jonas told them that they had taken a pro-active decision. “Whether we like it or not, one day we will face the consequences of our actions since these substances are already among us,” Jonas said.

Joranda Murangi, an environmental scientist at the Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) in Walvis Bay, who was also present at the meeting, said their concern is that the bunker is located close to the water pipe supplying the town.

“The 4,7 km distance from the bunker to the water pipe is too small. We fear that water contamination could easily occur,” Murangi said.

“We are wasting time here, just be honest with us and tell us if there is nuclear material stored here because that is our fear. We already refused to have such goods near our houses,” another resident said.

“What I need to know is whether this project is already approved, because then there is no point for consultations as you will just implement it regardless of the objections,” a senior community member said.

Jenneker said Namport and the municipality had supported the idea but there is still no legal certificate for the environmental impact assessment.

“We are currently consulting on the dangers involved. Your input as the community will also determine whether this project gets the go-ahead from the relevant authorities,” he explained.

Speaking on behalf of the Narraville residents, Stan Baumann said after the meeting that a planned peaceful demonstration has been put on hold until a final decision is taken on the project.

“If they decide to go ahead and implement it where we do not want it, then we will demonstrate, but for now we will wait and see,” Baumann said.


Source : The Namibian