Willdale sees production boom amid drought

Staff Writer

Brick manufacturer Willdale reported a significant increase in green production during the half year to March 31, 2024, driven by an unexpected boost from the country’s rainy season.

The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed leading brick maker’s green production surged by 145% compared to the previous year, exceeding expectations and providing a much-needed boost to the company’s bottom line.

The company attributes the increase to the “poor rainy season,” which allowed it to restart its extrusion process earlier than usual.

Brick production typically needs to be halted during the rainy months to prevent damage to the raw materials.

“The poor rainy season presented an opportunity to restart extrusion earlier than usual resulting in a 145% increase in green production compared to the prior year,” Willdale said in its half year financials.

Zimbabwe is currently facing a severe drought due to El Niño, a weather phenomenon linked to rising Pacific Ocean temperatures.

El Niño disrupts typical rainfall patterns, leading to drier conditions in Southern Africa. The drought began in late 2023 and intensified in early 2024, with many areas receiving significantly below-average rainfall.

This year, the rainy season saw a significant decrease in precipitation, impacting agricultural production across the country.

The drought has had a devastating impact, particularly on staple crops like maize. Reduced yields threaten food security for millions of Zimbabweans and strain the economy.

Authorities have projected a 2% economic growth target for this year as the country faces a devastating El Niño-induced drought.

Experts warn that the drought’s consequences could be long-lasting, highlighting the urgency of climate-resilient practices and government intervention.

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