Walter Nyamukondiwa Chinhoyi Bureau
THE Grain Marketing Board needs about $3 million to repair Lions’ Den depot silos, plant and equipment which are not functioning due to old age, a depot report has revealed.

Lions’ Den silos have 29 silo bins, making them the second largest in Africa after Egypt and third in the world after Australia.

Only four silo bins out of the 29 are suitable to store grain as most of them have developed cracks and are in need of reproofing due to ageing.

At least 26 of the silos were built between 1970 -72 while the remainder were built after Independence.

“Out of all these (29) silos, only bin 01, 02, 05 and 29 are still sound to store grain in them,” reads a depot report.

“The rest of the silos are now not suitable to store grain in them since they have cracks and patches at their bottom sides and apex.”

The silos have a normal lifespan of between 10 and 15 years before reproofing is undertaken and are now overdue.

Lions’ Den silos have a storage capacity of around 104 000 metric tonnes of grain.

There have been reduced deliveries lately due to inadequate supplies of inputs and delays in payment for deliveries.

Apart from problems on the silos, there are also challenges with conveyors and the dust extraction system which is not functioning efficiently.

The plant’s main fan for dust extraction was recently condemned as being too small.

“The dust extraction system is no longer functioning efficiently due to age and also needs replacement. Our main fan was condemned by Airflow Co. and was said to be too small for the plant since the addition of another has meant that the suction distance is too long thereby reducing its efficiency,” reads the report.

There is a heavy risk of loss if a fire is to break out as all fire extinguishers have expired while most of them have been condemned.

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