By Frederick Philander GIBEON Carpet weaving as a home industry at Gibeon is presently in the doldrums due to a lack of funds to expand the business and to provide job opportunities to the many unemployed people at the town. This is the view of Oom Trougod /Khaxab, owner of Gibeon Karakul Weavers company, which he has been operating since 1980. “During those years, the business showed a lot of promise and I employed more than twenty people then. Right now, I can only afford one staff member because of a lack of funding and a slump in the market, primarily tourism. The local market at the town is basically non-existent,” said Trougad, who started the business with a loan of N$33 000 from the then First National Development Corporation under the South African regime. According to the 57-year-old Trougad, who learned his special weaving skills from a German woman in 1968 at the village of Hoachanas, the business needs a financial injection for it to survive. “I am urgently appealing to the government for help. If I don’t get such financial help, I will be forced to shut down the business,” he said of the company that produces beautiful carpets of any design. The weaver works and produces on an order system to provide for the needs of individual customers as well as tourists visiting the town. “We used to produce up to sixty carpets per month when the going was good, but of late, I can hardly afford to buy the karakul wool from Agra or the Pelt Centre in Wind-hoek nor from the sheep producers, commercial as well as communal farmers, in the area. We need money to build the business to its former glory in order to make a living and employ more workers,” he said.
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