Success Stories

Social Impact

Towards Sustainable Charcoal Production through Certification

How a Generational Farmer is Advancing His Family Farm using Quality Environmental and Social Practices ~ Mbati Tjiho Mbati Tjiho is a generational farmer who traded in his twenty-five-year office job to explore his passion for farming in 2017. Farm Winnie, which was a predominant livestock production farm, is found close to the town of Outjo, in the Kunene Region of Namibia. Mbati has seen first-hand the impact of bush encroachment on his family farm. “Some farms in my area, have much more grass than our farm. Our farm was overgrazed and encroached. Today the grass doesn’t grow that high, but it is something I am correcting.” Mbati explains “I realised that there is an opportunity in the farming industry, with the encroaching bush in Namibia. It is a huge problem for livestock grazing. Some people have even started adding value to the bush. Either for charcoal production, firewood production,…
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Women Empowerment

Equal Employment Opportunities for Women

How the Charcoal Industry is creating Equality in Namibia ~ While legal equality hasn’t fully translated into economic independence and self-sufficiency for women globally, there are many sectors that are seeing huge growth in women’s empowerment. In sub-Saharan Africa, the charcoal sector has seen a boom in recent years and is providing an opportunity for many women to level their economic playing fields. While the sector is often thought of as being a male-oriented industry, women are taking on greater roles in the charcoal production value chain. Behind the masks and gloves, in the dust of a charcoal packing plant, women hold most of the team leader positions at Jumbo Charcoal. This charcoal packing plant is one of Namibia’s largest exporters of charcoal, and one of the first in the country to register with the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), the gold standard of quality forestry and environmental practices. Women hold…
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Social Impact

The Business Opportunity in Bush Biomass

SME Success Proves the Business Opportunity in Responsible Bush Control ~ Philipus Alugodhi is fast growing his biomass business Philipus Alugodhi, based in Otavi, is proving his entrepreneurial prowess through his charcoal business, which he has grown in a short space of time to be a choice employer for charcoal workers. Philipus has worked as a police officer, a diamond inspector, a geological technical and more. It was however when working at Energy for Future, producing wood chips for Ohorongo Cement, that he was first introduced to the biomass industry. “A friend of mine suggested I start producing charcoal, I already knew most of the farmers in this area because of my involvement in bush thinning operations. So I decided to go all in. I started up quite small, with six guys and twelve kilns. The first farm I started on is my mother’s farm near Tsumeb. Then I started…
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Ecosystem Restoration

The Return of Functioning Ecosystems Through Rewilding

A mine’s vision on the rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems in central Namibia ~ “For us, bush thinning is very important to get this area back to a functional ecosystem. The main reason we want to make it functional, is to ensure that wildlife have sufficient space and grazing. We inherited a system that wasn’t functional, so we are rewilding and aligning it to the vision that the company has for the Reserve” says Miya Kabajani, a Research Coordinator for B2Gold, based at their Otjikoto Mine in Central Namibia. The mine is situated on what was previously cattle farmlands, and as Miya points out there was “a lot of overgrazing and bush encroachment” on the land. It affected the way the animals moved and what they ate. It also affected the type of plant species found on this land, as Miya and her research team would soon find out. Miya Kabajani,…
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