Category Archives: Latest News

WWD2017: Namibia uses wastewater

Each year on 22 March, the international community comes together to celebrate the world’s most valuable resource, water. Water covers 70% of the earth’s surface, and this year’s World Water Day (WWD) is dedicated to understanding the management of this precious resource, specifically the importance of wastewater.

Water is a resource that all people need on a daily basis. On the other side of things, all people also create sewage on a daily basis, a fact that is frequently overlooked. For this reason, the importance of wastewater persists, and its importance extrapolates because of on-going problems such as; climate change, environmental factors, population growth, increased urbanization, on-going water mismanagement and faulty water service provision systems.

Wastewater and the new water cycle

Wastewater can be used to Namibia’s advantage, and it importance is substantial due to the fact that that it is interconnected with other sources of water. For this reason, the repercussions of its mismanagement must be considered. With poor management, dangerous and harmful elements can enter the environment and can have devastating impacts on the environment and subsequently have an effect on us as humans (Menges, 2017).

Historically the natural water cycle accounts for wastewater. Through the natural process of precipitation and condensation, water is filtered through soil and creates aquifers, where water is naturally purified. Ground water, river runoff and transpiration from plants and animals causes evaporation and the process repeats itself. However, new factors now play into the water cycle.

Due to urbanisation there is a new water cycle, the urban water cycle. Rainwater and other water sources are caught in dams where the water receives pre-treatment for human consumption. It is then distributed for human consumption where, once used, is collected again. This wastewater is either classified as greywater or blackwater. Greywater is wastewater obtained from water used in bathroom sinks, showers, tubs, and washing machines, whereas blackwater contains fecal matter and is therefore collected from toilets (Lamb, 2008).

Wastewater receives various treatments making it either ready for human consumption, especially relevant in Namibia, or will safely be reintroduced into the natural cycle. Treatment of waterwater can add essential nutrients that can be exploited for agricultural use. Without the last step there would be severe effects on the environment. Continue reading

A day in her shoes: #WCW Sister Christy

As part of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek’s on-going #WednesdayCelebrateWomen Campaign, UNIC Windhoek got to know Sister Christy, a registered nurse at the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) and #WCW for the month of March, by shadowing her for a day.

Cancer awareness in Namibia is rapidly increasing because of CAN’s effective awareness campaigns which are implemented through the hard work and dedication of its staff. For this reason, a day in Sister Christy shoes starts off early. She says, “I start off by driving the cancer patients to the hospital for treatment.” Continue reading

#BeBoldForChange Artwork on display at the UN House

Art work, created by students at the University of Namibia (UNAM) on International Women’s Day (IWD), is currently on display at the UN House in Klein Windhoek.

The dynamic pieces depict how the empowered woman is powerful beyond measure and beautiful beyond description and were created during the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek’s #BeBoldForChange Art Competition.

The Competition was part of UNIC Windhoek’s two-hour awareness programme which comprised of numerous activities including an open mic and student’s pledging to promote women’s empowerment. Continue reading

IWD: UNAM students encourage their peers to #BeBoldForChange

International Women’s Day (IWD), commemorated globally on 8 March, is a, “time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities” (UN International Observances).

In light of IWD, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek hosted an awareness-raising event at Olupale Square on the main campus of the University of Namibia (UNAM) in an effort to engage with tertiary students on gender equality, women’s empowerment and Goal 5 ‘Gender Equality’ of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNAM Student Representative Council (SRC) Representative for Community Development Mr. Laeka Ileka opened the event by highlighting that women play an important role in society and are a great source of light in all aspects of society. He continued to explain that the reason IWD exists is to show women across the globe that their efforts and the challenges they face have not been forgotten.

Following the introduction, students were invited to share their thoughts and opinions on women’s empowerment and gender equality through an open mic session. Continue reading

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen: Sister Christy advocates for Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a worldwide call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. Adopted in 2015, the SDGs comprise of 17 Goals that aim to transform the world by 2030.

As part of the #WednesdayCelebrateWomen #WCW Campaign, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek asks each WCW feature to pick one of the SDGs which resonates with them most and share how they plan to work towards achieving that particular goal.

Sister Christy, a registered nurse at the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) and UNIC Windhoek’s #WCW for the month of March, chose Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being. This goal is intended to safeguard healthy lives and uphold the well-being for all at all ages.

Echoing the targets of Goal 3, Sister Christy says that, “Health is a fundamental human right for everyone, irrespective of your gender, race, age educational status or socio-economic background, and every person is entitled to have the best possible health status.”

In terms of Goal 3, noteworthy steps have been taken to increase life expectancy and reduce needless deaths associated with child and maternal mortality. From the time the SDGs were implemented, much progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS worldwide.

Good health and well-being is a key focus area in Namibia and in Sister Christy’s work. She explains, “It’s my responsibility to be part of the team that actively works hard in order to promote health, prevent disease and prolong life.”

Increasing knowledge, raising awareness and shifting attitudes related to the prevention, promotion, treatment and rehabilitation of common health have been some of the attention areas in achieving Goal 3.

Sister Christy pledges to try her, “[…]utmost best to create awareness and provide health education on the importance of healthy lifestyle choices and timely health care, not only [for] cancer but [for] health in general.” Continue reading

UN expert to assess human rights situation of older persons in Namibia

GENEVA (28 February 2017) – United Nations human rights expert Rosa Kornfeld-Matte will carry out her first official visit to Namibia from 2 to 13 March 2017 to assess the human rights situation of older persons in the country.

The Independent Expert noted that the upcoming visit to a member of the Group of Friends on the Human Rights of older persons will be an important opportunity to identify both best practices and gaps in the implementation of existing laws related to the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons.

“I am particularly interested in learning more about Namibia’s extensive social protection system, including the universal non-contributory pension, which helped to significantly reduce poverty levels as well as the advanced technology introduces in the mid-1990s to manage the payment system. This is crucial in a country with low population density and may have a lot of potential for other countries in similar situations,” the Independent Expert observed.

“I believe that this visit will prove extremely fruitful in assessing the implementation of existing international instruments with regard to older persons while identifying best practices related to my mandate. I would also like to learn more about Namibia’s policies and strategies of relevance to older persons such as the Government’s Prosperity Plan,” she added.

Ms. Kornfeld-Matte is the first Independent Expert tasked by the UN Human Rights Council with monitoring, reporting and advising on the promotion and protection of the rights by older persons in the world.

Ms. Kornfeld-Matte, who is visiting the country at the invitation of the Government, will also travel to the Kavango region to hold discussions with government representatives, non-governmental organizations and others, working with and on the issue of older persons.

A press conference will be held in Windhoek at the conclusion of the expert’s visit, on Monday, 13 March 2017 at 15h00 at the UN House, Video Conference Room, 38 Stein Street, Klein Windhoek, Namibia, to share preliminary findings with the media.

The Independent Expert will present her findings and recommendations of her country visit in a report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2017.

ENDS Continue reading

UNIC Windhoek staff learn about photography

The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek team learned about photography through a skill building workshop hosted by Francis Photo Studios, a local Namibian photography company.

 On 2 February 2017, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek team learned that a photo says more than a thousand words through a skill building workshop hosted by Francis Photo Studios, a local Namibian photography company. Continue reading

#WednesdayCelebrateWomen: UNIC Windhoek celebrates senior resident nurse Sister Christy

As a way to promote women’s empowerment and gender equality, UNIC Windhoek is continuing with its #WednesdayCelebrateWomen campaign from last year, through which the Centre celebrated inspiring women each Wednesday. This year, as a way to get to know each feature better, UNIC Windhoek will feature one inspiring women per month.

For this month’s #WCW, UNIC Windhoek celebrates Christolina Kaventura, a registered nurse by profession who is popularly known as Sister Christy.

Sister Christy is currently employed at the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN). She is actively involved in generating cancer awareness at the community level and through social media, in the organization of wellness days and in training nurses on pap smears and breast examinations. Sister Christy’s true passion involves the National Cancer Outreach Programme which allows her, together with the CEO Rolf Hansen, to visit the rural areas of the country to host cervical and breast cancer screenings and to educate fellow Namibians.

Check out Sister Christy’s interview with UNIC Windhoek! Read along as she talks about cancer in Namibia, challenges faced by Namibia’s health system and shares her thoughts on women’s empowerment and gender equality. Continue reading

In light of World Cancer Day, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Windhoek joined the world to support the cause by taking part in the #WeCanICan campaign by creating a dynamic social media poster.

“Cancer affects all of us, whether you’re a daughter, mother, sister, friend, co-worker, doctor, or patient- Jennifer Aniston. World cancer day is commemorated to reflect on how cancer affects everyone in various ways, and how we can collectively or individually take various actions to reduce the impact of cancer on individuals, families and communities. Cancer day is commemorated because we take time to appreciate and recognize the people who lost their lives, battled the disease and are still going through the disease.

According to the World Health Organization cancer is a generic term for a large group of diseases that can affect any part of the body. Other terms used are malignant tumours and neoplasms. One defining feature of cancer is the uncontrolled growth and spread of cells. It can affect almost any part of the body. The growths often invade surrounding tissue and can metastasize to distant sites. In 2015 the World Health Organization deemed cancer as the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2015.  The most common causes of cancer death are cancers of:

  • lung (1.59 million deaths)
  • liver (745 000 deaths)
  • stomach (723 000 deaths)
  • colorectal (694 000 deaths)
  • breast (521 000 deaths)
  • Oesophageal cancer (400 000 deaths) (1).

Continue reading

UN System Namibia’s first Town Hall for 2017 kicks off on a high note

The Resident Coordinator’s Office hosted the UN System in Namibia’s first Town hall meeting on Wednesday, 25th January 2017. All UN Namibia staff from  resident agencies as well as some non-resident agencies attended in large numbers.

United Nations Resident Coordinator, Kiki Gbeho welcomed staff back with a short motivational New Year’s greeting. Gbeho highlighted that 2017 will be another great year for the UN in Namibia. She reflected on 2016 and highlighted some of the important milestones the UN System were able to deliver upon thanks to the hard work of each staff member from the respective UN agencies. Gbeho further thanked the UN Country Team members for their continued support during 2016. She called upon all staff to work toward Delivering as One to make 2017 successful.

The Resident Coordinator noted that “these are exciting times for the United Nations as there is a newly appointed UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres from Portugal”. She spoke at length about the newly appointed Secretary General, his focus areas as well his vision for the UN System as a whole. Continue reading