follow us onview our facebook profile

clean air
clean water
clean food
.... and a healthy society engaging in meaningful activities


Looking for information on the recent TALKS held, or NEWS articles.... here you will find it.

Good bye Peter and Barbara

Good bye to Barbara and Peter

NEWS had to say good bye at the last AGM to Peter Cunningham, who served as chairperson for the past 4 years. He will follow his dreams – become a farmer.
This was not all, Barbara Wayrauch, also resigned as a board member and is moving soon to Swakopmund.
To both of a wonderful time for all your new endeavors you will be missed.


Big birds - big powerlines - big problems

Hazardous Waste

John Pallet's talk was based on his study on the Cori Bustard and the powerlines

A short summary of the talk:
Collision rate in southern Namibia-0.5 bustards per km per year.
Possible solutions: Bird Flight Diverters
A marking experiment has been installed in the Karoo, South Africa, with the double loop bird flight diverter in an area which is frequented by bustards and blue cranes.
The results:

  • Good improvement in collision rate for blue cranes
  • Lower improvement for Ludwig’s bustards
  • Results only available for 2 years since installation

    read more ...
    The question remains: Is the problem significant enough to spend millions fixing it?
    Are there other solutions:
    Careful routing of power lines
    Keep close to roads
    Less power lines!
    Reduce the need for grid expansion
    Raise the price of electricity!


  • Recycling hazardous wastes in Namibia

    Hazardous Waste

    Glass, tin cans, plastics … these are well known as recyclables, and Namibia is making great progress to reduce the volumes of materials that go into landfills. But what about seriously dangerous substances like used car oil and dead car batteries – can these be recycled? Yes they can, and like other materials, the achievements in Namibia are something to be proud of...
    A dead car battery – an environmental hazard with its potent acid and lead.  But systems are in place to recycle these wastes profitably.  All companies that sell new car batteries should give you at least N$20 for the return of your old one.  Insist on it!
    Used oil can be discarded into large tanks put out by the City of Windhoek, so that people don’t pour this highly poisonous substance down the drain or into the ground. There is one at the Bulk Water and Waste Water Headquarters, Pullman Street. For others, phone CoW’s Pollution Control Inspector, Mr Salatiel Kalimbo, 2902903.
    Download here the full article.


    Off label use of Pesticides


    The Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, Directorate Veterinary Services, Central Vet Laboratories  have positive results for twelve cases of organophosphate poisoning since January 2013.

    Of the twelve organophosphate poisoning events identified at CVL from January 2013 to date,  three may be inadvertent as they involved domestic stock and two were urban events  directly linked to housebreak-ins – the dogs were poisoned. 

    Of the wildlife organophosphate fatalities recorded, one was from a rhino. All the others were from birds submitted from Caprivi, south of Etosha and Windhoek.

    Three events with the highest vulture mortalities were in Caprivi. In each case these events were  committed in attempts at stopping circling vultures from alerting conservation officers to poached animals.

    read more ...

    The most recent reported on the 4th Aug 2013, killed over 400 birds at the site of a baited poached elephant carcass. The suspected poison in this case is an organophosphate known to leave birds dead at site. Because this is the vulture breeding season an unknown number of nestlings will starve on nest sites.  If there were nearby nest sites, adults might have reached the nest and chicks fed contaminated meat will not have survived.  Some poisoned birds may have been able to move away from the bait site, most likely to a water source. No live recoveries were possible  as the vulture carcases were already some weeks old when the site was discovered.  Dead contaminated insects will have been picked up by insectivores and so this and other poison events spreda through food chains.  A single tag from a Whitebacked Vulture was retrieved.  The tag number T060 with some details can be found on the web address

    In Windhoek district a single Lappetfaced Vulture was found floating in a dam north of Windhoek.  From the water contamination approximately 4 days later 6 Red billed Teal were found dead along the same dam edge.

    From January to end July 2013 in Namibia this year, at least 600 vultures have died from known poison events.

    A recent Bateleur carcase from a farm just south of the Etosha was also tested positive for organophosphates. This immature eagle in excellent body condition was found next to a piece of contaminated domestic livestock meat.

    Another large poisoning event has been identified in the Kavango region involving large water birds. In this case it is known that poisoned birds have fallen into the river and that poisoned birds, dead or ill, have been retrieved by people for consumption. Samples have tested positive for organophosphates.

    Windhoek has seen a spate of dead doves through June and July 2013. Carcasses submitted for testing were positive for organophosphates.

    Liz Komen
    August 2013


    Computer Donated to Dagbreek School

    Dagbreek received a computer from NEWSThe NEWS office computer has recently been upgraded after which we donated, the still functional, computer, monitor & printer to the autism class at the Dagbreek School who deal with cognitively impaired children.
    The principal, Mr. Paul Du Plessis, and the teacher for children with autism, Ms. Lana Nieuwoudt, gratefully received this donation as the computer they were using recently had to be returned to the owner.
    Our NEWS donation was thus indeed well received and will be used to prepare teaching material and by individual learners using the autism assisting programme called Big Boet.
    Should members - individual and/or corporate - need to upgrade office electronics, please consider the plight of Dagbreek School.
    For more information and contact details please contact Hilda-Marie Botha 061-306290.


    NEWS members can now officially look forward to various discount rates offered by the following organisations:

  • Levo Tours - 25% discount on dolphin cruises in Walvis Bay and sightseeing trips to Sandwich Harbour
  • Eco Marine Kayaking - 15% discount on kayak cruises in Walvis Bay
  • Felix Unite - 15% discount on canoe trips on the Orange River and 10% discount on accommodation
  • Toktokkie Trails - 5% discount on desert hiking trails on the NamibRand Nature Reserve [SADC members furthermore qualify for 50% discount, effectively bring discount down for NEWS members to 55%]
  • Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge - 10% discount.
  • Huab Lodge offers - 20% discount on a fully inclusive basis which includes accommodation, all meals (with wine/beer/soft drinks with dinner) and activities, but exclude laundry, bar and therapeutic treatment/massages.
  • Understand impact of Uranium Exploration

    On 30 October, Dr Theo Wassennar - Research Coordinator at Gobabeb -presented a well attended talk titled “The vulnerability of the central Namib to mining” where he highlighted the threats of prospecting and mining to such
    a sensitive and unique environment. Gobabeb’s research focus has always been to collate as much data on the Namib Desert ecosystem to assist future decision making - most recently being mining. He furthermore stressed areas of high biodiversity and endemism - i.e. major sensitivity - that would severely be impacted by mining developments. However, large areas of the Namib Desert is potentially threatened with exploration licences covering most of the area.

    Vulture research and rehabilitation - Otjiwarongo

    On 25 September Maria Diekmann, the founder and director of REST (Rare & Endangered Species Trust) presented a talk on her ongoing vulture research and rehabilitation south of Otjiwarongo. Although the focus at REST is on vultures - especially the Cape Griffon Vulture - she is also involved with the research; rehabilitation and protection of some understudied and lesser known species which include the Pangolin, Wild Dog, Dwarf Python, Dik-Dik and Spotted Rubber Frog - i.e. the “Forgotten Five + 1”.
    read more ...
    Some of REST success stories include the following: First telemetry programme for vultures in Africa; World renowned vulture capture aviary; Largest DNA bank of old-world vultures in the world; First translocation of Cape Griffon Vultures from South Africa to Namibia to complement the dwindling local population; Assist with world-wide vulture research and collaborate on anthrax research and Local vulture research and continuous monitoring. The plight of the Cape Griffon Vulture - Namibia’s most endangered species - dire with the population having declined from an estimated 2000 birds, 50 years ago, to 12 in 2001. This dramatic decline was mainly due to secondary poisoning incidences targeting predators as problem animals throughout Namibia. Today, with the reintroduction of birds from South Africa, there are an estimated 30 odd Cape Griffon Vultures left in the wild in Namibia. Furthermore, REST also assists with the rehabilitation and release of captive bred birds at their centre 47 km south of Otjiwarongo [located on the Okonjima turnoff] where they also receive day visitors. For more information on REST’s activities please contact Maria Diekmann at: Cell 081-3679425 or or see

    The NEWS office is situated in:

    76/78 Frans Indongo Street | Windhoek

    Reach NEWS by post:

    3508 I Windhoek I Namibia

    Reach NEWS by email:

    © NEWS. All rights reserved