Coffin project brings services closer to Aroab residents

02 Aug 2013 06:00
AROAB, 02 AUG (NAMPA) – A community coffin-making project at the Aroab village in the Karas Region is making the lives of villagers much easier by saving them time and money in acquiring coffins for their departed ones.
The Aroab Community Coffin Project sells coffins for less than N.dollars 1 000, and also offers burial services, wreaths, fresh flowers, grave crosses as well as transport.
In addition, the company makes dog houses, cupboards and frames for visual artwork.
Coffins for adults cost N.dollars 850, and for children it’s N.dollars 400 at the most.
The shop currently has nine big coffins and four small ones ready for sale.
The project was established in June 2012 with N.dollars 50 000 from the Community Development Fund of the Keetmanshoop Rural Constituency Office, and employed seven people at the time.
The number of employees has since decreased to only three, project leader Wouter van Wyk told Nampa on Friday.
The other members lost interest in the project because they wanted to get money immediately, but that was not possible, he noted.
“We have very good support from the people here, because instead of driving 172 kilometres to buy caskets in Keetmanshoop like they usually did, they now buy it from us and we help them with the burial service,” explained Van Wyk.
The company, however, faces challenges with transport as it does not own a vehicle.
“We usually hire a bakkie (pick-up vehicle) from one community member, who charges us N.dollars 200,” he continued.
The other two members involved in the project are Collin Paul and Pieta Maasdorp.
Together, they make about N.dollars 2 500 profit in a good month when sales are good.
Maasdorp, who is the project coordinator, added that they as members receive a commission of N.dollars 350 each every month, and the rest of the money is used to buy materials.
The Chief Clerk at the Keetmanshoop Rural Constituency Office Emma Evelyn Boois told this agency on enquiry that the project needs bigger space and more finances so that it can be expanded, and include more people.
“The workshop is very small, and the storeroom is also small. So, they need a bigger place to produce more products and generate income for our people,” stated Boois.