The government of Namibia has broken grounds to mark the beginning of construction of Otjiwarongo Charcoal factory. Minister of industrialization, trade and SME development Tjekero Tweya officiated the project.
The factory is set to produce variety of nutritious animal feed and charcoal. It will be situated four kilometres north of Otjiwarongo and the land has been provided by the government.
Otjiwarongo Charcoal factory
Mr Tweya said the encroacher bush will be mixed with other nutrients during manufacturing to produce good quality animal fodder. The remainder of the harvested bushes would also be used to produce charcoal for commercial purposes.
The minister also pointed out that the project will be a multimillion dollar factory built by the government’s National Industrial Development Agency (NIDA) in partnership with private investors, who are expected to inject funds, technical expertise and knowledge.
“There will be a lot of industrial activity and job creation in manufacturing, value addition and processing of wood to a finished product. The Finnish government, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), and the Baobab Growth Fund organisation, among others, would also be involved in funding the project,” said Tweya.
The charcoal industry is a fairly new industry in Namibia, being an innovative by-product of clearing invader bush. The industry grew significantly in the 2001–2010 period, and has now become an important economic sector. Its development as a labour-intensive industry has in turn attracted indigent and unskilled labourers who, however, fall outside the usual protection of the labour and health and safety laws because the industry itself remains unregulated.
Source: Construction Review Online