The Skorpion Zinc Karas Goat Project is a beacon of hope for the economic emancipation of rural people in Namibia. The project, started in March 2012, aims to contribute towards poverty eradication in Namibia by affording rural, underprivileged families a sustainable entrepreneurial opportunity to improve their livelihoods through goat farming.
The project was initiated by the Office of the Governor and the Nama Traditional Authorities after a needs assessment was carried out by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Skorpion Zinc funded the purchase of the initial goat breeding stock, transportation, and training, at a cost of more that N$700 000 to ensure the successful establishment of the project. Initially, 16 households, spread across the four communal agricultural wards of the Karas region (Karasburg, Berseba, Tses and Bethanie), with four beneficiaries from each ward, were each given 31 goats each – 30 ewes and a ram. More than 60% of the beneficiaries of the project are women – a deliberate intervention to assist women-headed households in rural Namibia.
Nora Ndopu, Skorpion Zinc's Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Manager,commented: "We pride ourselves on being a socially responsible company and we aim to uplift local communities through our corporate social investment. The Goat Project truly embraces our objectives, endeavouring to reduce poverty by providing a sustainable, socially and economically sound project to improve the livelihoods of marginalised households in rural Namibia."
The Goat Project is designed to be sustainable and to provide benefits, not only to the initial beneficiaries but to subsequent recipients. After three years, to allow the herds to become established, some of the offspring were given to a second set of beneficiaries who, in turn, will reciprocate the process. This essentially creates a perpetual source of beneficiaries from the Skorpion Zinc Goat Project that will endure for many years to come.
Ludwig Mahure, one of the initial beneficiaries, said: "I now look after my own animals rather than tending after other people's livestock for a little money and food."