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Housing initiative augmented with training and equipment

Housing initiative augmented with training and equipment

Video: A representative of Ohorongo Cement, Carina Sowden explains how the company assisted members of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia in Walvis Bay toatain their dreams of owning their own houses. – Footage: Niël Terblanché

Niël Terblanché
TRAINING in the manufacture of bricks to build much needed housing and facilities to store the tools used in the process was handed over to members of the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) in Walvis Bay.
In 2015, Ohorongo Cement acknowledged the aspirations of SDFN members to have their own houses, and as such, approached the FNB Foundation Trust and Pupkewitz Foundation, to ensure a dedicated effort for support. The three partners joined hands towards the end of the same year in support of this community driven housing initiative.
This partnership was a direct result on the plea for the private sector and the general public to assist in the provision of housing nationwide, in support of Namibia’s development policies aimed at leading the country towards prosperity. The three partners then committed N$9 million over a three year period to entire SDFN in Namibia.
The partnership thus far delivered 91 houses in Omaruru, Tsumeb, Tsandi and Otavi during 2016. The next year 84 houses were completed in Keetmanshoop, Otavi, Mariental, Lüderitz and Katima Mulilo. During 2018, 76 houses were built in Outjo, Otavi and Henties Bay.
Ohorongo Cement committed in 2017 to provide the Narraville community with further support in the form of a container to use for storage of cement, other building materials and a brick making machine on the site where they intend to build their houses. The company honoured its commitment this week when they officially handed over a container for use during the SDFN Narraville project.
“In order to build strong structures that last for generations to come, you need quality building blocks,” said Martha Mwatile, Civil Engineer and Concrete Specialist at Ohorongo Cement. “Thus, the quality of the bricks you use to build your house is very important. Input determines output, so you have to ensure you use the highest quality materials when you want to build your house,” she said.
After extensive travels throughout Namibia, Ohorongo also found that very few people knew how to manufacture bricks correctly. As a result the company launched the first ever Ohorongo Brickmaking Academy training in 2017. This training was offered at no cost to the selective trainees in all 14 regions in the country.
The training members of the SDFN members receive, entails both theoretical and practical guidance in the production of quality bricks, as well as on quality assurance mechanisms and the maintenance and caretaking of brick moulds and other equipment.

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