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EIF awards N$14 million in projects

Saara Bock and Anna Hoffmann from the Lourenza near the Gibeon Area showcasing produce from the Falkehorst Micro Drippers and Shading. (Photograph by Freeman Ngulu)

The Environment Investment Fund (EIF) celebrated 3years this week by hosting a Green Projects Open Day Exhibition with some of the 50 funded projects.
Together with the new 15 projects on show ranging from eco-tourism to smart waste management and green technology, the Fund unveiled 8 new projects to the tune of N$14.8 million, four grants and green concessional loans.
Speaking at the event, The Minister of Environment and Tourism; Uahekua Herunga said that the simultaneous pursuit of economic development and environment protection is an effective and practical way to achieve many goals of sustainable development.

“The Green economy transformation is already underway,” Herunga said. Adding that for an organized  transformation to take place, supportive policies, institutional and governance reforms and targeted investment at local and national levels need to be put in place and scaled up as part of national development planning, based on priorities.
The EIF has to date invested $$32 million through its investment products. N$12 million in Grants, Green Concessional Loans receiving N$15 million and N$5 million in Green Soft Loans.
The Green Soft Loan Scheme through the SME Bank enables households affordable access to renewable energy technologies. While Grant performance show an estimated direct beneficiaries of 18, 460 individuals and 484 job opportunities from 56 projects funded from 2012 to 2014.
80 loans worth N$5 million were dispersed benefiting an estimated 80 households equaling to 8 thousand individuals from just over 700 applications.
The chunk of the grants was awarded to Natural Resource management, followed by Green Technology, Tourism development and Research Training and Education.
The EIF also awarded the annual Bursary scheme aimed at filling the skills gap of environmental related professions with N$2.6 million for 24 students. 40 final year students were trained in Applied and Interdisciplinary skills and Green Entrepreneurship development.
Concessional Loans for the last financial period were just above 60 applications.
Successful ventures such as Greenfields Namibia Organic fertilizer that produces organic fertilizer from chicken manure which received close to N$4million in the form of a concessional loan created 26 jobs and 3000 tons of organic fertilizer annually.
Benz Woodwork, manufactures furniture from waste wood received N$1 million in Concessional Loan which allowed for the enlargement of the workshop space and created 25 jobs. 500 tons of waste wood is recycled annually.
The #khoadi-//Hoas Tourism concession completed the renovation of the Hobatere Lodge with a concessional loan of N$3,97 million, alleviating poverty in the community with 35 temporary jobs and 45 permanent jobs with 32,000 hectares of pristine protected area.
Going into the future the fund will implement environmental levies and the designing of a National Framework for participating carbon credit schemes, and the up-scaling of concessional loan financing for green enterprises.
The fund will also fill important areas of expertise and contribute to the administration of funds for the hosting of COP11 and UNCCD.

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