Project in limbo for 40 years

A timber plantation established in the Oshikoto Region in 1976 has become a white elephant.

09 January 2019 | Agriculture


Decades after a study was conducted by the colonial administration on the eucalyptus trees at Onankali, no commercial use has been found for the massive plantation.

It was established in 1976 and was continued on a trial basis in 1982. After independence, the forestry ministry took over the plantation.

The National Forestry Inventory (NFI) recorded in 2000 that the 156.6-hectare plantation had 20 913 trees.

However, 19 years after the NFI research many trees have died, as the Namibian government could not find any useful purpose for them.

The Onankali eucalyptus plantation is situated in the Oshikoto Region on both sides of the Tsumeb-Ondangwa road.

The project grows mainly two eucalyptus species - camaldulensis and tereticornis.

Camaldulensis is used for timber and transmission and construction poles, while tereticornis is used for fuel-wood, charcoal, fibre and beekeeping.

The first survey on the trees was carried out in 1989, while the second was conducted in 2000.

“Thinning should be done to enhance the proper growth of the trees into more useful timber. It is also needed to clear-fell at least 5% of the area and let trees grow from coppices. The income from these harvests should be used to improve the welfare of the plantation (sic),” the 2000 inventory report stated.

This, however, did not happen, despite employees being paid to take care of the project.

The forestry ministry did not divulge whether the project is commercially viable or what it intends using the trees for.

Onankali resident Johaness Niilonga told Namibian Sun the trees are dying and community members have started cutting them down, so they can use the wood for their households.

“The community has waited for a very long time to see what the outcome of this project will be, but nothing happened. This project has been here for as long as we can remember, but we have never seen any harvesting being done. The trees started dying and the community members saw an opportunity to harvest them,” Niilonga said.

In other African countries such as Kenya, eucalyptus is the species of choice for many commercial farmers, because it has multiple purposes, and there is a fast-growing and ready market.

It is used as firewood, for making charcoal and for building, as well as for fence posts, transmission poles, pulpwood, timber and plywood.

Similar News


Ancestral land claims hit Rundu

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Agriculture

A group of residents are demanding land at Rundu's Kaisosi township on the basis that it belonged to their forefathers.The group led by Pastor Magareth...

Ta ya pula evi lyuuthiga wawo moRundu

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Agriculture

Ongundu ndjoka otayi kwatelwa komeho komusita Magareth Mate Da Rocha oshowo Brigitte Kalihonda, na oya gandja omaiyuvo gawo kelelo lyondoolopa yaRundu taya popi kutya kaya...

Climate change and productivity

3 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Agriculture

Climate change is a long-term change in climatic/weather patterns of the earth or region. Such change is observed in temperature and rainfall patterns, amongst others....

Agri ministry sidesteps timber issues

3 days ago - 20 March 2019 | Agriculture

The ministry has sidestepped key questions on whether it will re-implement the ban on the export of unprocessed timber until a local value addition processing...

'Give back the land if you can't farm'

4 days ago - 19 March 2019 | Agriculture

Northwest division chief veterinarian Dr Kennedy Shoombe says Mangetti agriculturists must stop calling themselves farmers, and instead call themselves livestock keepers for weddings and funerals.“If...

Ne kamu shi aanafaalama, ihe aaniimuna – Shoombe

4 days ago - 19 March 2019 | Agriculture

Pahapu dhomundohotola Shoombe, momudhingoloko ngoka omu na oongombe dha thika po 200 000 ndhoka itadhi longithwa paliko.Okwa popi kutya aanafaalama moMangetti nayo otaya pelwa...

Opoloyeka yomeya mOmuntele oya pumbwa omulongi omupe

4 days ago - 19 March 2019 | Agriculture

Oshimaliwa shopoloyeka yomunino gwomeya Ondangwa-Omuntele osha li poomiliyona 46.4 momvula yo 2014 ihe osha yi pombanda poomiliyona 51.1 momvula yo 2017.MuMaalitsa gwo 2017 ehangano ndyoka...

Spotlight on Hou

1 week ago - 15 March 2019 | Agriculture

Well-placed sources say the harvesting of precious and protected trees continues despite the environment ministry's moratorium on logging since 26 November last year. The...

Livestock sector is worth N$4.6bn

1 week ago - 14 March 2019 | Agriculture

Namibia's livestock industry is valued at an estimated N$4.6 billion, which equates to 4.3% of all goods and services annually produced by the country. Stated...

Farmers on their knees

1 week ago - 13 March 2019 | Agriculture

Many industries in the agriculture sector remained under pressure last year, with almost half of these industries experiencing a decline in production value. Namibia's...

Latest News

Namibians first!

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Business

The Construction Industries Federation (CIF) of Namibia has proposed that bidders with less than 100% ownership by Namibian citizens should be disqualified from bidding for...

2019 ‘to-do’ lists for business...

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Columns

Getting your business off to a great start in a new year requires planning, critical thinking and dedication to executing your strategy.We asked Forbes Coaches...

A fierce corporate climber

1 day - 22 March 2019 | People

Carlota David-Howoses was born and grew up in Rundu.She attended Noordgrens Secondary School in Rundu, then moved over to Etosha Secondary School in Tsumeb and...

We are at a crossroads

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Opinion

I remember when I turned 29. The battle scars were starting to show. There were hard decisions. The hangovers of 'nice times' and the gay...

Pupkewitz Megaboards opens door

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Business

Pupkewitz Megabuild recently opened a new subsidiary, Pupkewitz Megaboards. “Pupkewitz Megabuild continues to expand its product and service offering in line with the Pupkewitz Group’s...

Satrix lists ETFs on local...

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Business

Satrix on Tuesday announced its secondary listing of its global exchange traded funds (ETFs) suite on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX).The listing is the first...

Corruption - A social disease...

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Columns

Johan Coetzee - One of the most popular indices used by investors to provide them with an indication of the level of corruption and governance...

Government pharmaceutical plant on hold

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Health

Government's plan to construct a pharmaceutical plant is on hold until various agreements are reached with private sector partners involved in the project.This is according...

Local content top priority

1 day - 22 March 2019 | Economics

A 'buy local' policy with local content requirements will, in the long run, help smaller businesses to sell goods and services to government.This was the...

Load More