The authorities in Botswana have said construction will start soon on a new leather park at Lobatse and could be ready to start production within 18 months.
At a recent seminar on the project, Lesitamang Paya, who is co-ordinating work on the leather park for the local authority, said that Botswana’s current cattle population of 1.8 million head would be unable to supply the volume of hides the site will need to operate efficiently.
He said his calculations show that 75 tonnes of hides per day will be needed as raw material for the leather park to operate well. He called on livestock farmers in Botswana to improve their herd management, starting immediately, to supply the hides required.
Around 60% of the raw material the new leather park will process will be bovine hides, he explained, with exotic skins, including ostrich and crocodile, making up the rest.
Mr Paya added that the leather park is also likely to consume two million litres of water per day. He said the project’s solution to this was to build the park close to an existing water resource, a sewerage treatment facility close to Lobatse. He explained that the plan was to extract water from here, treat it and use it in leather production. Wastewater from tanning operations will then be used at a nearby farm.
In addition, there will be a dedicated, secure landfill site for disposing of solid waste from the park.