27 Jun 2013 05:40
OTJIWARONGO, 27 JUN (NAMPA) - The Executive Director of Women?s Action for Development (WAD) on Wednesday expressed concern about the increasing number of shebeens in Namibia.
Speaking at Otjiwarongo on Wednesday during the graduation of 116 WAD students, the organisation?s Executive Director Veronica de Klerk attributed all social evils such as attacks on women and children by men to the increase in shebeens in towns around the country.
The students received certificates after completing three-week training courses offered by WAD.
A total of 124 unemployed community members and police officers in the Otjozondjupa Region had registered for the courses in computer literacy, office administration, hospitality, needlework and gender-related law.
Eight however failed the courses and therefore did not graduate on Wednesday at the Swanevelder Community Hall.
During the graduation ceremony, De Klerk spoke out strongly against shebeens, saying the topic of alcohol was ?close to her heart? as it is a matter which disturbs her.
She said she has just learned that shebeens in Windhoek number over 5 000 and are mostly located in informal settlements on the premise that these establishments are the number one source of income for the poor.
According to her, a country ?full of shebeens? is a ?total disgrace? for national leaders.
De Klerk argued with the idea of using shebeens to boost the country?s economy, as well as to reduce poverty and unemployment in the country.
?This is shocking. For me it literary means that we have ostensibly run out of ideas on how to reduce poverty and unemployment in this country,? she said.
She said the misuse of alcohol countrywide has led to concurrent violent acts against women; passion killings; rape and the breaking up of family homes and spread of HIV/AIDs due to unprotected sex.
De Klerk urged Namibians to turn the situation around by introducing life skills subjects in schools in order to sensitise learners about the devastating effects of alcohol and drug abuse.
?Poverty and unemployment can be addressed by bringing to secondary schools practical subjects like carpentry, welding, bricklaying, catering, tailoring and plastering in order for all Namibians to become capacitated in home-based income-generating ventures,? said De Klerk.
She also suggested that a national conference be called by the Ministry of Health and Social Services along with non-governmental organisations where practical resolutions can be decided on against alcohol abuse.
The graduation ceremony was attended by the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Petrina Haingura.