The Ogongo UNAM Campus Indigenous Forest Parks Project, funded by the Welsh government in 2021 at a cost of N$5,2 million, is progressing well.

The project includes a tree planting programme with a focus on the uses of indigenous fruit trees within the ecosystem.

The Ogongo Campus pilot project targets planting about 500 indigenous trees within a 120-hectare park.

The project is part of the nine-year Phoenix Project, a collaboration between Cardiff University and the University of Namibia, supported by a Memorandum of Understanding between the entities.

The trees are carefully selected to provide various fruits and habitat for pollinators, with the aim of attracting bees to start producing honey.

Key sub-projects under the Indigenous Forest Park are: a nursery; the indigenous forest park; and fruit processing containers for value addition to the indigenous fruits.

The Head of Wales and Africa, Jon Townley, is satisfied with the project's progress. 

Currently, the campus processes mangoes, lemons, marulas, and monkey oranges, locally known as Omauni, into juice.

"Wales has a great partnership with Namibia, particularly our Cardiff University and the University of Namibia, and this is one of the reforestation projects we funded a few years ago now, and it is delivering great results. I visited where we have been planting trees, and to see here the food processing plant, there is great potential here for the future, so it has been a pleasure and an honour to come here and see that the money that we gave has been well spent."

UNAM Vice-Chancellor Professor Kenneth Matengu says Ogongo Campus has a huge responsibility to ensure food security and empower communities in crop production.

"This project, which is supported by the Welsh government, is to help the university empower the communities. What you have seen today is indigenous trees and indigenous fruits. We know that communities are already using them, but the practice in the community does not enable them to make sure that these products are on the shelves so communities can come here, get training, get those products, and sell them."

Photo Credits
NBC Digital News


Emil Seibeb