17 Jul 2013 05:30
MARIENTAL, 17 JUL (NAMPA) - A community mushroom project which was started at Mariental in 2008 is no longer in existence, as the 26 young people who were involved abandoned it for other jobs.
The project was funded by Nedbank Namibia to the tune of N.dollars 450 000, while the University of Namibia (Unam) assisted in the training on how to grow mushrooms.
It was intended to provide employment for young people and increase food production in the Hardap Region.
A concerned resident here, Donett Beukes, wanted to know from this reporter what is wrong with people here, saying they start projects and later let them die.
Beukes told Nampa on Tuesday that she was present when the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa opened the project in the Aimablaagte residential area.
Upon enquiry, Mariental Urban Constituency Councillor Barakias Namwandi told this agency that the project stopped working in 2010 because it was not generating money, and therefore people left for greener pastures.
Namwandi said some of the people who were involved in the project left because they secured employment in the Namibian Police Force (NamPol), while others just lost interest because they did not generate money to keep the project running.
?We are busy looking for funding so that we can restart the project. This time, we will need about half-a-million dollars so that participants can get a little allowance for five months before they start selling mushrooms and make profits,? the councillor explained.
He indicated that it is difficult for unemployed youth to stick to a community project without an income, because they have accommodation, water and electricity bills to pay.
The Chief Regional Officer (CRO) of the Hardap Regional Council, Yvonne Boois, also told Nampa that the mushroom project started struggling with finances immediately after its introduction.
?The challenge we have with community projects in this region is that most of them just fail because there is no ownership. That?s why sometimes when we try to motivate people to start community projects, they do not listen because of such situations,? stated Boois.