24 Sep 2013 11:40
WINDHOEK, 24 SEP (NAMPA) - Green soft loans of between N.dollars 100 000 and N.dollars 5 million will now be available to Namibians at an interest rate of 4,25 per cent.
These loans will be repayable over a maximum period of five years.
The SME Bank of Namibia in partnership with the Environmental Investment Fund of Namibia (EIF) will provide finances for eco-friendly appliances such as solar water geysers and pumps, solar lightning, devices and equipment that optimise water usage, amongst other areas of environmental sustainability. Loans will also include eco-tourism, sustainable farming practices, renewable energy, and water efficiency technologies amongst others.
Speaking at the launch in the capital, the Minister of Environment and Tourism Uahekua Herunga, who is also the president of the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), said these products are aimed at catalysing additional private sector investment into the ever-growing environmental-based business.
We expect a substantial roll-out of environmental-friendly businesses over the next two years. We have also made a decision to increase future budget allocation to EIF to carry out its mandates of providing green grants to our communities and civil society organisations in Namibia, he noted.
Herunga said Government is committed to building the capacity of the EIF to become one of Namibias implementing agencies on climate financing and direct access funding from international development partners for environment programmes.
Government acknowledges that intervention of this nature requires correcting market failures and overcoming the financial and behavioural barriers to a wider green economy uptake.
He said a Cabinet directive to install renewable energy systems in all public buildings is one of the good initiatives which have been introduced, the other being the green economy dialogue adopted by Government, the review of building codes, and the formation of the Green Building Council of Namibia.
Government states that the purpose of these interventions is to drive a step change in the provision of resource efficiency that is based on the green economy principles, he added.