Persons with disabilities to be accorded equal opportunities in the GH2 project

Martin Endjala

The Government has reiterated that it will ensure that all persons with disabilities are given equal opportunities not only in the Green Hydrogen (GH2) project but in all developmental projects in the country.

This comes after the Namibia National Association of the Deaf (NNAD) Executive Director Linekela Nanyeni, expressed concerns about the lack of representation of the deaf community in the GH2 and other development projects in the country.

He expressed the deaf community’s disappointment with the GH2 project, saying that they feel excluded from the ongoing engagements and discussions.

“Namibia is home to many deaf persons and we are scattered around the vast part of Namibia, however, there is little information coming to the deaf community about the GH2. We are not informed at the moment and do not know much about the projects,” he expressed.

Nanyeni said the industry needs to make sure that deaf persons are made aware of the projects and how they can participate, because at the moment that has not happened and is very concerning and believes that there is still a need to raise more awareness on inclusivity.

In response to the raised concerns, the GH2 Commissioner and Presidential Economic Advisor James Mnyupe, told this publication that the GH2 project is a government-led initiative which will provide opportunities to every citizen.

Emphasising that the government’s employment policy is based on the principle of equal opportunity for everyone.

However, Mnyupe was quick to debunk the notion that the government is not creating opportunities for persons with disabilities, adding that it is not the case. Because the government will ensure that persons with disabilities have equal opportunities for productive and gainful employment in the labour market as per laws entrenched in the constitution.

Meanwhile, the National Planning Commission Director General and GH2 Chairperson Obeth Kandjoze, anchored the same sentiments, explaining that the green hydrogen project employment and inclusivity opportunities setup is in line with the National Disability Act 25 of 2004.

“Seeing as the government’s vision is to industrialise in a sustainable manner – it is expected that the government will follow its policy interventions in this regard,” he said.

Hyphen Hydrogen Energy, a joint venture between Nicholas Holdings of the UK and ENERTRAG of Germany, was selected as the preferred bidder for the country’s first green hydrogen project in November 2021.

The project will be constructed over two phases, with the goal of producing 350,000 tons per year of green hydrogen from 5GW to 6GW of renewable generation capacity and a 3GW electrolyser.

The project is said to cost N$170 billion and is likely to take between 10 and 15 years to complete and it is expected to create up to 15,000 new jobs during its construction phase and 3,000 permanent jobs during operation.

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