"Namibia Our Motherland"
Published in the Namib Times, 22 March 2013.
By Marcia StantonLet each one of us think today about what it means to have pride in our country- to have love for and devotion to the welfare of our nation. A country is made up of people and the environment which sustains those people. We need air, water and food for our survival. Without the environment, we cannot have a nation because without the environment we cannot live. The environment cuts across all cultures and is essential to us all. The welfare of our country depends on our environment. Let this thought unify us.
Our flag embodies the values of our nation to which we salute. Pride for our environment is captured in symbolism. Green represents vegetation and agricultural resources. Blue is a symbol of the clean Namibian sky, the Atlantic Ocean, the country's precious water resources and rain. The gold sun embodies life and energy. Red stands for people and their heroism and resolve to build a future of equal opportunity for all. White signifies peace and unity.
Even our Constitution recognises our dependence on the environment for our survival and our need to protect it. Article 95(l) states that the government of Namibia must maintain "…ecosystems, essential ecological processes and biological diversity of Namibia and utilization of living natural resources on a sustainable basis for the benefit of all Namibians, both present and future.” The living Constitution is the supreme law of the land which governs the creation of all laws and the interpretation of those laws. Our elected government officials take an oath to uphold protect and defend all provisions in the Constitution. It is our duty to honour the supreme law of our nation.
Yet, we are now being asked to compromise the integrity of our supreme law by promoting industry that will directly and dramatically decrease the sustainability of the living resources, leaving behind a poisoned environment that cannot provide for future generations. The late honourable Chief Justice, Justice Mahomed described the Constitution as "...a mirror reflecting the national soul/the identification of the ideals and aspirations of a nation, the articulation of the values bonding its people and disciplining its government." Echoing his words, in essence going against our Constitution by failing to maintain Namibia’s environment for current and future generations is equivalent to losing the soul of our nation. Compromising our environment for short term monetary gain means we have lost the values upon which our great nation was formed.
Today more than ever we need to echo the words of our national anthem. Let us have pride in our country, land of the brave, land of unity, contrasting beautiful Namibia. Namibia our country is the beloved land of savannahs, a breathtaking coastline - heaven on earth. It's time for us to hold high the banner of liberty and stand for freedom from being enslaved by money. Let us stand for what is timeless, true and just. Take pride in the environment you call home. Namibia our Country, Namibia Motherland, we love thee.