By Hoandi !Gaeb Mariental – Namibia’s only pig farm near Mariental, which is one of the country’s success stories, is back in full production following its recovery from heavy flooding. More than one thousand piglets perished in the mighty Fish River more than six weeks ago. The farm manager, Solly Nemaire, told New Era that the 13 thousand pigs that survived have put the farm back on its feet again and full production started a week or so ago. Nemaire said due to the current government ban on the import of pigs and other pork products from South Africa, his company could not buy live pigs from our southern neighbour. “Once the ban is lifted, we will certainly buy more pigs.” He added that at present they are managing to meet the country’s needs on the resources they have. However, the major obstacle at the moment is the severe damage to infrastructure, such as the feeding system, which has not been fully installed, as well as pumps that need to be totally rewired. He said they are awaiting equipment from Denmark before all infrastructure can be put in place. The pig farm suffered a loss of just over N$2,5 million. Meanwhile, Mariental’s biggest shopping outlet, SPAR, is still closed. The owner, Pieter de Lange said he expects the shop to be opened only in July. He said his company will however continue to pay full salaries to all its workers, which amounts to about N$160 000 per month. “Nobody will lose his or her job because of the closure of the shop,” he said. “We have a responsibility towards our employees and will continue to foot the salary bill irrespective of the fact that we are not in business yet.” Over the past weekend all local schools as well as employees of some business houses at Mariental joined hands to start cleaning up the town, while most of the almost 2 000 people displaced by the flood have returned to their homes. Another cleaning up operation by schools will be held again soon. In March President Hifikepunye Pohamba instructed that N$10 million be released from government coffers to alleviate the impact of the damage on the town and its residents. Meanwhile, Old Mutual Namibia announced earlier that it will build a multi-million-dollar complex at the town in an effort towards its rebuilding. The news has been welcomed in many circles at the town. The town clerk of Mariental also welcomed the good news, saying that after the flood, many people lost faith in the town and its future. “Old Mutual, by this announcement brings hope to the town,” he said.
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