Housing project opens doors for timber

14 October 2020 | Business

Two local businesses have come up with a solution to utilise locally harvested timber which cannot be exported.

The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism in July this year resumed the transportation of timber for local supply and processing. The harvesting of new timber is however still prohibited and no export permits are issued for unprocessed timber and timber logs and blocks.

Keller Zabel Investment has entered into an agreement with the developers of the Ongos Valley housing project in Windhoek to supply the doors, stairs and cupboards for the properties to be developed for the next 20 years.

Principal contractor Welwitschia Construction plans to build 28 000 housing units over the next 15 to 20 years to address Windhoek’s housing shortfall.

“As timber traders, we approached this project and told them since they are building over 20 000 houses, we have timber stuck in the bush that we are no longer allowed to export, and we need to create value with that timber locally,” George Shikongo of Keller Zabel Investment’s said.

Shikongo said they proposed to Ongos Valley that they supply the doors, stairs, and cupboards for the entire project, which he said Ongos Valley welcomed wholeheartedly as they equally did not want to see the harvested timber go to waste.

The appointment letter from Welwitschia Construction indicates that Keller Zabel Investment is required to supply finished hardboard doors and stair treads.

He further explained that they will source the timber from farms in the Kavango regions and transport it to Windhoek for the manufacturing process.

Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism Public Relations Officer Romeo Muyunda said they encourage these types of partnerships in order for the local timber sector to grow and contribute to the local economy. - Nampa

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