The University of Namibia (UNAM), supported by Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group is in the process of manufacturing more than 32, 000 litres of hand sanitizers to address the acute shortage in the country. The sanitizers packaged in 300ml, 500ml, 5L and 25L bottles are destined for UNAM stakeholders, also including government entities and State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).
UNAM Acting Director: Communications & Marketing, Johannes Haufiku explained as follows: “The severe outbreak of the disease in Southern Africa, has led to a shortage of ethanol; a key ingredient in sanitization products. The high demand and lack of supply has made the product expensive, and out of reach for the communities that need it the most. With a population of more than 30 000, UNAM’s Faculty of Science together with the School of Pharmacy, initially produced sanitizers for exclusive use by the large UNAM community. Thereafter, various external entities started requesting for assistance, hence the further production of more sanitizer.”
According to Haufiku, UNAM approached NBL for support to successfully execute the project. As a result, NBL made available its brewing facilities for the production of the sanitizers. NBL Managing Director, Marco Wenk: “As a proudly Namibian establishment, passionate about the future of this country and the health of its people, we gladly got on board to support this extremely important initiative and project by UNAM. We thus gladly made our facilities available for the successful production and execution thereof. After all, we are all in this together.” Wenk further noted that NBL, as a brewery can unfortunately not assist with producing high ABV ethanol – as its yeast and brewing process does not get the ethanol thàt concentrated, with a maximum 8% ABV reach under normal circumstances, which is far too low for the production of sanitizer.
Brewing experts from NBL have been working closely with UNAM scientists to come up with a solution that is feasible, in hopes to help the country fight the pandemic. says Haufiku: “We are extremely grateful for NBL and the O&L Group at large for their support and assistance. The way we could work together as one and as a true Namibian team, speaks volumes of the potential as a one Namibia.”