Pig Farm Picks Up the Pieces

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By Surihe Gaomas Mariental The Namibia Pig Farm in Mariental is gradually shaking off the mud and slime that remained after the devastating floods in the town over the weekend. The pig farm survived following the closure of the sluices on Monday by NamWater. Subsequently, the water that engulfed the whole town as well as the farm subsided later that day. While the pig farm lost close to 1 600 piglets out of a total of 16 000 pigs in the floods, the most severe damage was inflicted on its infrastructure. Taking the New Era team through the muddy wrecked building yesterday, Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Pig Farm Solomon Nemaire said extensive damage occurred mostly in the administrative block, which consists of the board room, kitchen, offices as well as the residence block of the close to 60 permanent workers. Other damage included a tractor that was found stuck in the mud halfway between the entrance of the premises and the offices. Upon entering the premises with insurance representatives from Inscon as well as engineering assessors, the place looked a mess, with the high muddy markings on the walls that showed that the entire building was submerged in water when the tragedy occurred. “It’s not so much structural damage, but damage to the property itself. “The poor workers don’t have insurance on their stuff and once we know what is damaged, we will be able to put a value on it,” said the Managing Director of Inscon Ferdinand Otto. “He was accompanied by the General Manager Rudi Jacobs during the tour of the site on Monday. One of the insurance experts said: “as an industry the cost will be huge.” “We always insure for the unexpected so that our clients can have peace of mind. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll have to start from the ground,” said Jacobs. Muddied bedding, cupboards and wrecked fridges could be seen in the residence section of the workers and even a couple of fish that got flushed out from the Hardap Dam were also visible. However, Nemaire was optimistic that although the damage was astronomical, the business was likely to get back on its feet quite soon. “The entire electrical system and motors of the mixer have been affected and cannot be used anymore. Yet, we anticipate we will be back in business within the next couple of weeks,” said Nemaire. The mixer area consisted of the Grower, Finisher, Weaner, Fishmeal, feed lime and salt sector of the industry. The only pork industry in the country, the Namibia Pig Farm has experienced the worst setback due to the recent floods at the town. Since its inauguration four years ago, the farm was performing well, according to its owner, businessman John Endjala. The company gradually invested N$21 million into the pig farm venture and its capacity grew, starting off with 800 pigs back in 2002. It was slaughtering between 600 and 700 pigs per week and the meat was mostly meant for local consumption. “Pork has been banned in both South Africa and Brazil and we were the only ones sustaining the market and now with this tragedy, the entire pork industry is affected negatively,” Endjala said in an earlier interview with New Era. The insurance valuators plan to come up with a comprehensive cost assessment within the next few days.