Swakopmund residents in a tiff over proposed radioactive storage facility

Niël Terblanché

Residents of Swakopmund are involved in a heated debate regarding the possible rezoning of property in the town limits to store radioactive materials.

The bone of contention is a proposal by Namaquanum Investments Two to refurbish an existing workshop on Einstein Street to establish the storage facility.

This initiative, aimed at supporting offshore oil exploration activities, has sparked widespread concern among the town’s residents and environmental activists.

The Municipality of Swakopmund has called for calm, stressing that the proposal to store nuclear material within town limits is yet to be finalized.

Amidst growing tensions, the local community, galvanized by environmental concerns, has voiced strong opposition against the project.

An online petition initiated has quickly garnered over 1,000 signatures, further exacerbating the community’s apprehension towards the potential health and environmental risks posed by the storage of radioactive materials.

Proponents of the petition have appealed to authorities to prioritize public safety over industrial interests.

Protesting residents argued that the presence of a nuclear storage facility could detrimentally affect Swakopmund’s tourism appeal, public safety, and environmental integrity.

The plan, as detailed by Geo Pollution Technologies, involves the refurbishment of a workshop for the storage of radioactive source material used in calibrating and testing drilling equipment for offshore oil exploration.

According to the Swakopmund Municipality, the application for an environmental clearance certificate (ECC) is a requirement under the Environmental Management Act, prompting the company to issue a public notice inviting objections by March 8.

Critics of the proposal have raised concerns about the lack of an environmental impact study and the irreversible consequences of radioactive pollution.

The call for transparency has intensified, with demands for the release of a background information document detailing the storage unit’s plans.

In response to the outcry, Swakopmund’s chief executive, Alfeus Benjamin, acknowledged the public’s concerns but emphasized the importance of formal objection procedures.

The Municipality of Swakopmund has reiterated its commitment to a transparent and inclusive decision-making process, urging residents to participate by submitting written comments and objections.

The matter is under careful consideration, with the municipality assuring that no final decisions have been made.

The community of Swakopmund remains united in its call for caution and thorough examination of the proposal.

Related Posts