OKAHANDJA: The first-ever annual Market Day convened here on Saturday in an effort to accommodate small business owners that are unable to attend big trade fairs in other parts of the country.
The one-day event allows surrounding schools, small businesses and youth entrepreneurs of the town to market themselves, said Okahandja Small and Medium Enterprises Club (OSMEC) Vice-President Gerson Nasau.
In an interview with Nampa here on Saturday, Nasau said the club that is only six months old, is a non-profit organisation that helps small businesses to showcase their products in the area, as they are not able to travel to other regions and take part in trade fairs there.
The Market Day will take place in addittion to the annual Okahandja Trade Fair and Expo.
“The event is profit-free, with entrance also free to the general public. Since we are hosting the event at the Okahandja Park we have availed stand space for free to accommodate 50 small businesses, 10 youths from secondary schools and 10 local non-governmental organisations (NGOs),” Nasau said.
He noted that 50 small businesses participated in the Market Day, and only one school and two NGOs.
Nasau said the club decided to make the event an annual one, stating that it is also looking at extending the number of days to two for participants to market their goods.
Meanwhile, the stall of the Namibia Solar Bottle Programme, also known as Uyelele – meaning brightness or light in Oshiwambo, attracted a lot of attention, as people flocked there to see a demonstration of a shack on wheels with a solar bottle lamp.
The programme, which is lead by Hendrik Ehlers, husband of renowed musician and poet Liz Ehlers, educates people how to reduce the risks of shack fires in the country by using natural light instead of candles inside shacks.
In an interview with Nampa at the event, Ehlers said he learned about the invention from Brazil, and identified it as a solution to shack fires, particularly in the Khomas and Erongo regions where shack fires are prone.
“All shack owners need to do is cut a hole in the roof, stick an old plastic bottle in it, fill it with water and a little bit of Jik (detergent), and then you can close the door during the day. You don´t need candles or anything else, because the inside is nice and bright,” Ehlers explained.
He said this invention means free light for everyone and it is cost effective.
This invention, however, can only be used during the day or when there is a strong moon.
Quoting Namibian Police statistics, Ehlers said most shack fires involving Namibian children happen during the day when their parents are absent, thus the ‘bottle in the roof’ method makes it the safest mode for lighting.
Ehlers said the ‘product’ is not for sale, but rather is an initiative to distribute the know-how to everybody freely.