Ondangwa - the end of waste

Ondangwa - the end of waste

03 June 2019 | Tourism

Ondangwa is centrally located, allowing the visitor access to the four O-Regions: Ohangwena Omusati, Oshana and Oshikoto. Unfortunately Namibia’s towns in the north have in the past earned a reputation of not being particularly clean. Against that background it is a delight to see Ondangwa being one of the finalists in the cleanest town of the year competition. It proves that there is a change of heart - Namibians want to live in clean towns.

The word Ondangwa in the Oshindonga dialect means “the end of the Ondonga area”, which is a reference to its location at the western extremity of the territory inhabited by the Aandonga-people.

The town is ideally located for visitors wishing to explore the history and vibrant culture of the Aawambo people (invariably referred to as Ovambo or Oshivambo). Visitors can enjoy the sounds and flavors of a typical and vibrant market in Ondjondjo Street. It’s a hive of activity as locals come and go to buy traditional fare such as dried Mopane worms, Omavanda (Owambo spinach), Marula oil and a variety of dried wild fruit. Namibia’s most famous street food, Okapana - pieces of beef grilled over the coals and seasoned with a homemade spice mixture - can be tasted here.

Traditional villages allowing you to experience the Aawambo-culture are found close to town. Here guests are able to get an insight into village life by trying their hand at traditional household chores such as pounding Mahangu, cooking over an open fire, the intricate craft of basket-weaving and clay-pot making in the Onzimbogo (an underground pottery chamber). Other activities include cattle herding, fishing in the Iishana during the rainy season and extracting juice from the Marula when the fruits are in season.

Ondangwa is ideal for visitors planning to combine a cultural experience with a game-viewing excursion to the Etosha National Park.

Being charge of one of the bigger conglomeration of settlements which have grown to form the town of Ondangwa over time, the Ondangwa Town Council fully understands it duty towards following best practices as regards the cleanliness of it town and people. It has therefore designed and approved a strategy, which deals with waste management in this town.

The town council has started providing refuse bins to the residents and removes waste on a door to door-basis. In similar manner it has distributed skip-containers strategically placed at business centers and these are emptied on a regular basis too. Many businesses have introduced the Molok-system of Rent-a-drum, which makes for easier removal but more importantly prevents wind from blowing dirt out of a skip back into the environment. The town furthermore employs litter collectors on a daily basis and has begun introducing environmental guards trained to raise awareness at the informal settlements on the outskirts of Ondangwa.

Apart from that the town is involved in annual initiatives, which include cleaning- and awareness campaigns designed to reeducate its citizens and change the attitudes. Regular training and environmental education is promoted at the schools. Most importantly the town is seriously investing in its infrastructure as well as its people to gradually enforce the “three R’s”: Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.

Essentially the town council commits to the vision, which dictates its strategy: “In Ondangwa we are using a participatory environmental awareness in order to improve environmental quality and have the residents of Ondangwa live in a clean and healthy environment so that we promote a better living standard as well as promoting development in order to maintain quality of life.”

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