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Newly-trained Gobabis brickmakers get free cement from Regional Council and Buildit

Newly-trained Gobabis brickmakers get free cement from Regional Council and Buildit

Thirty four more young people joined the ranks of trained brickmakers this week after attending a brickmaking course offered by the Ohorongo Buildit Brickmaking Academy in Gobabis.

The roving academy takes it instruction sessions to communities all over Namibia, having trained almost 300 people over the two years since the idea for a travelling academy was first mooted.

This week’s session in Gobabis was the 14th conducted by the academy. Ohorongo provides the equipment and the raw material, including cement, while the Buildit Group has committed to buy all brick made by the new brickmakers for reselling in their hardware shops, provided the product conforms to certain minimum standards.

Ohorong said the brickmaking academy is a smart partnership between them and one of its major customer, the Buildit hardware group.

The Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Honourable Bishop Zephaniah Kameeta, applauded the academy partners for their commitment to ensure that the skill of brickmaking is spread to many communities, empowering many individuals who can now manufacture bricks to generate their own income, or to be used by local communities for small construction projects.

“This initiative by Ohorongo and Buildit is a practical example of how the private sector can be part of the implementation of national development programmes,” said Bishop Kameeta.

“We expect the trainees to use their newly acquired skills to assist in employment creation, enabling them not only to sustain their own livelihoods, but to play an active role in the alleviation of poverty,” said Ohorongo’s Managing Director, Mr Hans-Wilhelm Schütte adding that if all trainees would again teach others, and each would employ only two additional people, this academy has the potential to create close to 900 additional jobs for Namibians.

“With brickmaking, a small thing can have a huge impact on the quality of the bricks. A mistake many people make, is to use water that is not drinkable,” said Festus Katofa, one of the Ohorongo trainers.

The Omaheke Regional Council pledged to provide the newly trained brickmakers with cement so that they can start benefitting from their new skills. The council promised twenty bags of cement for each of Omaheke’s seven constituencies. Buildit will top this up with another ten bags per constituency, according to Paul Hinson, Buildit’s Category Buyer.

Schütte commended the regional council saying the academy would not enjoy such huge success were it not for the support of the councils, helping to identify prospective trainees and coordinating training dates and venues.

After-training technical support is provided on a continuing basis by an Ohorongo technical team.


About The Author

Mandisa Rasmeni

Mandisa Rasmeni has worked as reporter at the Economist for the past five years, first on the entertainment beat but now focussing more on community, social and health reporting. She is a born writer and she believes education is the greatest equalizer. She received her degree in Journalism at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) in June 2021. . She is the epitome of perseverance, having started as the newspaper's receptionist in 2013.