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Namibia accelerating efforts to locally manufacture coffins

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Accelerated efforts are underway to fast-track the manufacturing of coffins locally as Namibia spends at least N.dollars 30 million annually to procure coffins from neighbouring South Africa.Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Iipumbu in a re…

Accelerated efforts are underway to fast-track the manufacturing of coffins locally as Namibia spends at least N.dollars 30 million annually to procure coffins from neighbouring South Africa.

Minister of Industrialisation and Trade Lucia Iipumbu in a recent interview with Nampa said the government has set up a technical committee, spearheaded by the National Planning Commission, to assess the need and country capacity in terms of coffin manufacturing.

The committee is expected to make a final determination and submission of the financial resource envelope in supporting businesses and developing the local industry.

She said the ministry is also busy assessing the capability of the economy to manufacturing coffins locally.

Iipumbu is of the view that the country has the capacity to manufacture its own coffins but is constrained by inadequate sector development.

“The main limitations are that we need to adopt standards through our Namibia Standards Institute, ensure a viable funding scheme, enable a viable raw material sourcing strategy and work on integrating the very much short or near absent value chain between coffin manufacturers and funeral houses,” Iipumbu said.

The trade ministry has since identified 58 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) that are able to manufacture and or assemble coffins in Namibia. The room remains open for more MSME that are in the coffin manufacturing industry to present themselves to ensure that we enrich their database further, she added.

The news comes at the back of reports by Namibian’s undertakers and funeral parlour lamented the shortage of coffins in the country amidst the rising COVID-19 deaths, forcing delays in burials and further overwhelming mortuaries across the country.

By Saturday, the pandemic had taken 2 506 lives in Namibia, an unimaginable toll that continues to rise at an alarming rate.

President Hage Geingob last Thursday, has also challenged Namibian manufacturers to produce basic goods such as coffins, saying the continued reliance on South Africa is unsustainable.

He said it is unacceptable that families are now forced to delay burying loved ones because Namibia depends on South Africa for Coffins.

Source: Namibia Press Agency