Bricks are the basic building blocks of all future prosperity
“Poverty eradication should be the top priority of all our efforts, both of the government and the private sector. Rooting out poverty will ensure social justice, which is a prerequisite for economic growth and any future investments in Namibia.”
This statement was made on Friday morning, 02 June in Tsumeb when the Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Hon Bishop Zephaniah Kameeta opened the brickmaking academy operated by Ohorongo Cement in partnership with the Build It chain of hardware stores. The minister and the Governor of the Oshikoto Region, Hon Henock Kankoshi were the guests of Ohorongo Managing Director, Mr Hans-Wilhelm Schütte and the Category Buyer of Build It, Mr Paul Hinson.
The four dignataries demonstrated to the first intake of trainees that it is not very difficult to make bricks, the apprentices must only pay attention to what they are taught to ensure bricks of a prescribed standard. When they do this, Build It has committed to buy all the home-made bricks for further selling in the Build It stores.
Pointing out that the academy is not a registered vocational training institution, Schütte said “It is a dream of ours to create a brickmaker in every village, to ensure sustainability and keep logistical costs down, while at the same time taking care of the communities in which they live and operate. We envisage that the brickmakers will use their newly acquired skills to assist in job creation, enabling them, not only to sustain their own livelihoods, but actively play a role in the alleviation of poverty.”
The man who will be responsible for buying the bricks from the brickmakers, Hinson, said “This brickmaking academy is especially important to us as cement, bricks and blocks form the stable foundation and framework upon which things grow – it is these bags of cement sold to our customers that keep the economy growing, and as people build better and stronger houses, schools and places of work – employment grows, people prosper, children get better education and businesses can thrive and grow.”
In the first intake, a total of 15 people were trained to prepare the aggregate for bricks correctly, to fill the blockmaking machines in the right way, and to cure the bricks after they have set, to ensure that their bricks conform to the standard expected by Build It.
Ohorongo said its technical team, together with a support team from Built It, will continue to provide technical assistance and advice to the trainees to ensure the best outcome and high quality bricks.
The academy will conduct further training programmes through June to October in Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati, Otjozondjupa and Khomas.