Fransfontein Garden Site Handover
The “Improving Rangeland and Ecosystem Management Practices of Smallholder Farmers Under Conditions of Climate Change in Sesfontein, Fransfontein and Warmquelle areas of the Republic of Namibia” (IREMA) Project aims to reduce the vulnerability of smallholder famers, through investing in climate-smart agriculture techniques aimed at improving access to water and increasing both livestock and crop production.
The community of Fransfontein envisions to have a garden for the community to benefit from its fresh produce and strengthen agri-smart agriculture. Currently, the community is using flood irrigation and the project aim to introduce agri-smart technology such as drip irrigation to reduce water consumption and introduce smart agricultural techniques to the local farmers.
On the 27 April 2021, the IREMA project team together with the Environmental Investment Fund (EIF) and Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR) held a site meeting handover with the project manager and the appointed site contractor for the Fransfontein Community garden. One Stone Investment was officially announced as the site contractor of the Fransfontein community garden, and Dunamis Consulting Engineers as the project managers. The community garden project is costed to the tune of N$ 12, 136, 248. 81 (Twelve Million, One Hundred and Thirty-Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Fourty-Eight and Eighty-One cents Namibian Dollars). The contractor is appointed for a period of 9 months and work is expected to be completed by 22 January 2022. The project will have a one-year defect order that will end in January 2023.
The scope of work of the community garden is about the supply and installation of irrigation systems and will also include the supply and set up of water tanks for storage to pump to the garden. The design is made for 17, 5 hectares. A nursery measuring 720 square meters will also be set up at the garden to cater for growing of seedlings for the local famers.
The project site manager outlined the expected responsibilities and activities to be carried out by the contractor and highlighted the expected deliverables from the contractor. The contractor was also given the opportunity to engage the community members during the meeting and highlighted the need for cooperation between the community and the contractors.
The site handover meeting also discussed the issue of the budget allocation for the project and it was explained that the N$ 12, 136, 248, 81 is not a once off large sum that will be given to the contractor, but it will be paid in portion as per the contract signed, based on deliverables and completed work at stages.
On their part, the contractor indicated that they will commence with the work within seven days after the commencement meeting on site and that they will also engage the community and relevant stakeholders to discuss the progress of the project and once a week engage the project manager to provide all technical and suitable updates on the project such as the set-up of a mobile office, list of the skills required and engage the community of Fransfontein through the settlement office on the suitable recruitment of local community members.
Traditional leaders representing the different traditional authorities in the area welcomed the development and were excited that the commencement of the project will finally kick off. They further expressed delight on the impact that the project will bring to their community.
The project will also see the construction of a storage facility for horticultural produce.
The meeting was attended by staff from the EIF, MAWLR, Dunamis Consulting Engineering (the project managers), One Stone Investment (the appointed contactor), representatives from the Fransfontein Settlement office under the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development, local Traditional Authorities representatives and community members.