Khorixas-Outjo Mayor Marius Sheya in a telephonic interview with New Era last week said the municipality will listen to the residents on plans to establish a Chinese donkey abattoir. Sheya said the development – which many residents do not want – will not be imposed on them.
The period for submission of complaints and concerns raised by its residents to Outjo Municipality over plans to construct an abattoir that would slaughter 70 donkeys to 100 cattle daily ended on August 31.
“We will never impose developments on residents. That is the reason why we have this process (objection period),” Sheya said.
The youthful mayor said the construction of the abattoir was potentially a good initiative and just like any investor the Chinese-operated company approached Outjo Municipality. He said the residents must be aware a decision has not yet been made regarding the construction of the proposed abattoir.
“We need to be objective as leaders. The municipality will study it (the objections of the public) and arrive at the final decision, but we will have a public meeting,” Sheya told New Era recently.
He said people have different views on the issue and that as representatives of the public, the municipal councilors wanted them to pronounce themselves on the issue.
Sheya said the Chinese-operated firm followed all normal procedures and will have to abide by the laws of the country. Furtherm he said, although the plan is provisionally approved it is not yet finalised.
“They (Chinese-operated abattoir) have to follow our laws and veterinary regulations. An EIA (environmental impact assessment) was done and we will know how the environment will be affected in a long run, as well objections from the public will be heard. Until this is done we will not allow construction of it,” Sheya insisted.
In February the site for the abattoir was cleared and if the municipality allows construction to proceed, it will provide water, sewer and power infrastructure.
According to Sheya, the municipality will not sell the land if construction if the project is given the go-ahead, but will rather lease it out. Some community members are concerned about contamination of the groundwater and soil, unsustainable business model and the impact on the supply of water and electricity.
Okahandja also plans to construct a donkey abattoir, a proposal welcomed by the town’s mayor, Johannes Hindjou, who said it will create about 100 jobs.