Counting the Cost of Doing Nothing

Danny Meyer
Danny Meyer

It is no secret that improper waste disposal comes at a cost to a country and its people.

This includes environmental damage and public health risks.

But there are hidden costs too.

This includes the financial implications of cleaning up a mess, such as the cost of collecting and then disposing of garbage left behind by others, which could easily have been avoided if people behaved in a more responsible manner.

Littering in Namibia seems to be endemic to the extent that it is actually a habit.

Routinely criss-crossing Namibia for work purposes, it never fails to amaze me just how much garbage is strewn along the roads.

Annoyingly, this again became blatantly obvious when I travelled to Walvis Bay earlier this week.

Surely it cannot be that much of an inconvenience for drivers and passengers to keep beverage bottles, cans, takeaway boxes, and plastic bags inside one’s vehicle, rather than flinging rubbish onto the roadside in an uncaring and inconsiderate manner.

When stopping for a break one could then dispose of the garbage in a rubbish bin or container.

Common sense, I think.

But seemingly not for many road users, including passengers in buses and the occupants of government vehicles and branded company cars.

Of great concern is the possible risk of such a horrible garbage disposal habit being copied by youngsters, as they may mimic this seriously bad trait, thereby perpetuating this scourge.

We must be thankful for small mercies, since the waste that is discarded willy-nilly along the highways and byways of the country no longer includes those disposable masks we wore indoors and outdoors during Covid-19.

It was not too long ago that we were compelled to wear masks during the national lockdown and in the subsequent months.

At one stage disposable masks irresponsibly discarded all over the place were so commonplace that they risked replacing plastic bags as the country’s ‘national flower’.

Namibia is one of the most spectacularly beautiful countries on the African continent, if not the planet, and efforts must continue to preserve the uniqueness of this country’s pristine landscape.

How would this litter scourge be brought under control and eventually come to an end?

The festive season is only a few weeks away, and many will soon be travelling to spend time with family and friends, or to visit a tourist destination.

Resultantly the volume of vehicles on the road will increase.

Now is a good time to run an extensive ‘keep Namibia clean campaign’.

One that cautions against the consequences of and harm to Namibia’s people and the country’s fauna and flora due to the irresponsible disposal of garbage.

– Danny Meyer is reachable at

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