The Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) has committed to assist a young man from a Kavango East who develops bricks from recycled plastic and sand.
The EIF has decided to fund the first phase of Ladislaus Shikerete’s project with N$20 000.
The funding will also include the development of a comprehensive business plan for the initiative that will set out the entire plastic waste value chain, formalisation of the operation, structural and technical requirements as well as the business eligibility of this creativity.
EIF spokesperson Lot Ndamanomhata said the fund decided to assist the enterprise because it was in line with the mandate of the fund, which is to invest in projects that support sustainable environmental and natural resources management in Namibia.
“The issue of plastic bags and waste generated from plastic materials continues to create devastating waste management stress amongst our local authorities, especially in small towns around the country,” Ndamanomhata said.
He added Shikerete is not just contributing to sustainable waste management, but that it is an initiative needed by local towns and municipalities to manage the non-biodegradable waste that has become nuisances to Namibia and the globe.
Wapa-Nawa Recycling Centre founder Shikerete welcomed the support and thanked EIF, saying the funding will assist him in establishing and expanding his business.
“The grant allocated to the project by the Environmental Investment Fund will assist me in setting up a proper structure of the business and support me in the transportation of the plastics bags. It will also lead us to expansion because our plan is not to just implement the idea in Rundu but in other towns too,” Shikerete said.
The budding entrepreneur also indicated that besides the assistance from EIF, he also received personal protective equipment, a scale, a new mould and a signboard from various people around the country.
Others have also pledged to transport the plastic bags from the dumpsite to the centre, while one of his friends decided to take some of the bricks to the lab for testing purposes.
“This testing is going to help us to have that scientific backup so that we can now be able to prove the strength and quality of our bricks because they have rates and categories,” Shikerete said.
The centre, which is located along the Trans-Caprivi highway, has attracted over 300 people, who wanted to see how the bricks were made.