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A special ‘house in a house’

Avatar of inke inke - 06. August 2019 - Environment

The hands-on sustainability centre in Swakopmund, where day visitors can learn about environmentally friendly behaviour in their daily activities. NaDEET practices what it teaches.

Dirk Heinrich

Can I save water when taking a shower? How many people in Namibia cook with solar power, wood, gas or electricity? How can I save energy? How much water do I use every day and what for? What type of transport is the most environmentally friendly? These questions and many others are answered at the Urban Sustainability Centre of NaDEET (Namib Desert Environmental Education Trust) in Swakopmund. The centre is a unique house where visitors can learn and experience for themselves how water and energy can be saved; how much of these valuable resources are used by a normal household and certain appliances such as washing machines, and who practices the most environmentally unfriendly lifestyle in Namibia.

Students and other visitors can also learn about the effects that climate change, pollution and indifference have on the environment. And they will discover how Namibia meets its energy needs, what the situation with water resources is and how biodiversity is endangered by a host of different threats.

Water is precious in Namibia, not only for the human population but just as much for animals and plants. It is vital that everyone in this country saves water and uses it wisely and frugally.

Visitors can walk through the ‘house in the house’ at leisure and look around by themselves or speak to NaDEET staff and have certain things pointed out to them. Half-day programs are offered for school classes: the children learn about energy and water saving measures as well as wastefulness, and they can present their own ideas and get their questions answered. There is the School Enviro Club, which is suitable for high school students, while young professionals involved in urban planning and environmental projects use the centre as an opportunity to exchange views and learn more.

Namibia, the driest country south of the Sahara, is struggling with water shortages at regular intervals. What is more, the country does not produce enough electricity to meet its needs. Therefore every citizen and every tourist should help to save water and energy and protect the environment. We can do that by changing our behaviour just a little bit. How and why is explained at the NaDEET Urban Sustainability Centre.

The centre is practically oriented and open for day visitors during normal business hours.

Are you looking for a place to stay while visiting Swakopmund? Have a look at the modern hotel The Delight Swakopmund. 

NaDEET recently won the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development. The Director of NaDEET, Viktoria Keding (2nd from left), was also awarded the 2017 Trophee de Femmes Environmental Woman of Year (Germany) by the Yves Rocher Foundation. On this picture: the Director of UNESCO in Namibia, Djaffar Moussa-Elkkadhum (on the left), next to the Deputy Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Ester Anna Nghipondoka, and the Japanese Ambassador to Namibia, Hideaki Harada.
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