Dozens of self -taught carpenters who recycle wood pallets and tyres along the Old Lobate road in a notorious neighborhood of Old Naledi are making a kill from their trade.
As you drive along the road between Gaborone Dam and Old Naledi there is a beehive of activities along the old Loabatse road which has been occupied by makeshift workshops owned by self-made carpenters .
A number of self- taught carpenters have occupied a strip of a kilometer along this road where they are recycling wood pallets into different kinds of house hold furniture’s and other goods.
Furniture made out of the recycle pallets dominate the area while there is also goods made out of recycled tyres.
Mompati Golekanye feels that the recycling part which the environmental pundits hail as a way of taking care of the environment is nothing that he can pride himself with since he was in business.
‘What brings me here is to money for my own survival. I have been to a brigade where I did bricklaying. It has been a tough terrain after graduating because there are no jobs. I had to find another way of taking care of myself and paying rent in Old Naledi,”added Golekaanye.
Golekanye makes use of wood pallets that he buys from truck drivers who drive trucks which transport goods between Botswana and South Africa to make outdoor and indoor furniture .
He make goods such as bar,restaurant,outdoor,indoors chairs ,pet houses,bird nests and bed structures. Golekanye’s customers can also request for any furniture of their choice to be carved for them.
His customers are those who drive along the Old Lobatse on their way to Game City while others are referred to him by individuals who had bought one of his furniture made out of recycled wood pallets.
In a good day Golekanye is assured that he can pay his rental in advance if his products are bought. “My only fear is that since we self allocated ourselves a space to run business authorities could round us and evict us. II don’t want that to happen. This will mean that we have to find other alternatives for income generating projects,” he added.
He is able to carry some of the goods that are not heavy enough to his house while he leave other furniture behind with a hope that tomorrow he will find the furniture.
He decries of storage facilities stating that a house that he rented could not accommodate all hiss furniture from his makeshift workshop.
At one point one of colleague’s furniture got stolen confesses Golekanye a scenario that can happen to him anytime though he prays to the almighty to keep his belongings safe.
A beehive of activities takes place seven days a week in this area where customers park and pick what they want . The only business that existed before the carpenters flocked this place were fisherman who were selling fresh apparently from the dam.
It is hard to find the fisherman man around the makeshift workshops along the road unless if one had known about their existence before.
Pholoko Keikabile is also a self- taught carpenter who find himself carving a wood since he was unable to find employment. He decided to make a living out of the wood pallets as opposed to using his time looking for employment.
Keikabile says he is able to pay rental from his sweat . “ I take it as a business and I am learning. I might also venture into another viable business with the little that I make from here,”he added.
He is of the view that if his recycling of wood pallets and tyres have anything to do with taking care of the environment it will be a complimentary towards making sure taking care of the environment though that is not his focus since he was a businessman who is there to make money.
Keikabile was worried that since most of the people in Old Naledi have ventured in the same business the demand for wood pallets was high hence truck drivers inflating the prizes of wood pallets.