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The Impending Environmental Impact of Urban Dumping Sites: A Growing Concern in Namibia

In Namibia, many towns have established dumping sites where all types of unwanted materials, regardless of their degradability or non-degradability, are indiscriminately discarded. This practice raises significant concerns about the looming environmental consequences. Notably, some of the materials deposited in these dumpsites contain Persistent, Bio-accumulative, Toxic (PBT) substances, posing a severe environmental threat. One critical issue is the absence of proper covering for these dumpsites.

Garbage dumpsite in Namibia
Garbage dumpsite in Namibia with Persistent, Bio-accumulative, Toxic (PBT) substances.

During the rainy season, water can easily infiltrate down into the ground, potentially contaminating the underground water sources that serve as a vital supply for much of the country. Furthermore, when these dumpsites reach their capacity, they resort to burning the accumulated waste. This incineration process contributes to serious air pollution, releasing undesirable gases such as CO2 into the atmosphere. The extent of pollution varies depending on the types of materials being incinerated at any given time.

burned tyres in the garbage dumpsite in Namibia
Unwanted material in the garbage dumpsite such as burned tyres are a problem to the environment.

The combination of groundwater contamination and air pollution from these dumpsites raises urgent concerns about the long-term environmental impact on Namibia. Addressing these issues is essential to ensure the preservation of both the country's precious underground water resources and the overall air quality for its inhabitants.


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