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Almost forgotten, rail contractor brings Kalkfeld back to life

Almost forgotten, rail contractor brings Kalkfeld back to life

Kalkfeld, the small off-the-grid town between Omaruru and Otjiwarongo, was the centre of attention recently when D&M Rail Construction chose this settlement as the venue for a company event. The company donated clothing to the Kalkfeld community, awarded certificates to its own employees, and celebrated an anti-poaching bush clearing initiative.

Calling the Kalkfelders to action, Otjiwarongo Councillor, Hon Marlayn Mbakera said they must be ready for new opportunities that arise from developments in and around the small town.

“D&M Rail Construction has been leaving footprints wherever they operate, ensuring that communities are better off because of its presence. It employs local people, provides training which has lifelong benefits to the recipients while providing much-needed assistance to communities,” she said.

During the same ceremony, eleven bulldozer operators received certificates after successfully clearing an area of more than 16.4 hectares as part of the community’s fight against poaching in the area. “These certificate recipients can, when the company is no longer here, look for opportunities elsewhere, because now they are certified and employable in the job market,” stated the Councillor.

The bulldozing exercise cost D&M Rail about N$170,000 to clear the land bordering Kalkfeld which has become a hiding place for poachers.

At the same event, some 30 Kalkfeld children each received a tracksuit to keep them warm in winter. An additional 50 tracksuits are currently being sewn by the Reverend Ngeno Nakamhela Foundation, with support from the rail construction company.

D&M Rail Construction has employed more than 180 local people since the beginning of the year. Project Manager, Leon Steyn said the company is committed to support the most vulnerable members of the communities where they operate. “We have and will continue to provide assistance where we can, in collaboration with local community organisations and councils,” he said.

Wrapping up the proceedings, Councillor Mbakera advised the Kalkfelders to pay attention to the potential disruptive impact of Covid-19 and adhere to government regulations which she said are “aimed at curbing the spread of this pandemic amongst our people. We are a small population. Imagine what one unguarded infection can do to this town’s population?

Otjiwarongo Councillor, Hon Marlayn Mbakera (seated at desk) recently handed 30 tracksuits to children living in the small town of Kalkfeld. The garments are a donation of D&M Rail Construction.

The Reverend Ngeno Nakamhela (left) whose foundation manufactured a batch of tracksuits for the Kalkfeld children with two of the seamstresses and D&M Rail Construction’s Project Manager, Leon Steyn on the right.


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The Community Contributor is any of a number of authors whose specific beat is community wellness, development and upliftment. Many of the authors have been contributors to the Economist for years. Others work for commercial enterprises, specialising in spreading their Corporate Social Responsibility messages. Ed.