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Environmental Fund Pays Out Grants Worth N$535 Million

By:Justicia Shipena
The Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) has to date disbursed grants valued at more than N$535 million, the Fund’s Chief Executive Officer Benedict Libanda has revealed their latest annual report.
“EIF has ensured that more than 240,256 hectares of land are under conservation, while 71 grants have been approved for different environmental projects,” Libanda said.
He said the Fund has created 950 employment opportunities, mostly rural-based.
In addition, the installation of more than 160 seasonal and retrofitted boreholes with solar panels is said to have benefitted more than 77,000 people who now have access to potable water.
According to the CEO, the EIF started on a balance sheet of N$15 million, and ten years later it oversees a portfolio of projects worth N$1.7 billion.
“It has been a rollercoaster ride with ups and downs, and a substantial amount of learning and catching up. But yes, much has been done over the past ten years,”he ponted out.
Libanda disclosed that the Fund has handled over N$1.7 billion in ten years, with the Green Climate Fund(GCF) accounting for a total of N$640 million in grant funding for climate change and adaptation interventions in Namibia.
He further said EIF is committed to rebuilding natural capital as a critical economic asset and source of public benefits.
“It cannot be overstated when we say that it is time that most – if not all Namibians from all walks of life, join the EIF crusade for an environmentally prudent and socio-economically sound populace.”
According toLibanda, the EIF concluded the financial year having achieved the majority of the targets as outlined in its annual business plan.
He said the global Covid-19 pandemic negatively affected businesses, stating the EIF has dealt with a myriad of serious challenges over the years but none were as significant as the global outbreak of the pandemic.
“The pandemic brought consequential changes to the EIF, considerably impacting the way we operate. The greatest challenge was undoubtedly ensuring that core business services remained accessible to our clients throughout the national lockdowns introduced to curb the spread of the virus.”
He said the EIF had to reposition itself by re-assessing operations and re-engaging staff members, adding it is not easy to successfully plan for the future without a clear reflection on and comprehension of where the Fund comes from.
“Climate change, for example, remains one of the world’s biggest troubles. It is a well-known fact that over the past years, Namibia has not been spared, having experienced climate change impacts in the form of persistent and devastating droughts, floods, and water scarcity, all of which have threatened the livelihoods of citizens and the developmental progress of the nation.”
Libandaconcluded that the quest for sustainable environmental management and climate change mitigation can be attributed to the robust planning frameworks implemented through the effective domestication of global commitments.

Justicia Shipena

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