Beukes concerned about deplorable conditions at 'Sonder Water'

16 Jun 2015 10:40am
WINDHOEK, 16 JUN (NAMPA) - Deputy Minister of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare, Priscilla Beukes is appalled by the deplorable conditions in which the residents of ‘Sonder Water’ informal settlement in Windhoek’s Hakahana area are living.
The minister visited the settlement, situated on the northern side of the B1 road in Hakahana on Friday and instructed residents there to clean up the area.
The settlement has a population of 135 people who live in shacks and open spaces surrounded by grass, bush and trees with only a narrow path leading to the informal settlement.
When nature calls, residents relieve themselves in the bushes near their shacks.
This settlement was founded over 15 years ago and currently has about 20 shacks and five open shelters.
The minister contributed N.dollars 1 000 which was shared by 10 families after cleaning up the area.
She encouraged them to continue with the cleaning up of the entire surroundings.
“I want them to get out of dirtiness. I told them I did not come here to pay people who clean their yards but this is just a small contribution for them to buy food,” she said.
She said the main purpose of her visit was to educate them on how to restore their dignity, get out of poverty and foster healthy living.
Beukes noted that residents have different talents such as tailoring, construction and hairdressing that they need to use to earn a living.
She therefore encouraged them to start small businesses and avoid the abuse of alcohol in order to fight poverty among themselves.
One of the residents, Anna-Marie Mongolo told Nampa the settlement has been there for the past 20 years and the community members have raised their needs to the City of Windhoek, but no help comes their way.
Mongolo said the community was in dire need of water, electricity and sanitation, as currently they are buying water from neighbouring formal houses in the Hakahana area.
She also complained that they are forced to relieve themselves out in the open.
Mongolo however said the municipality had promised to build at least one community toilet and a communal tap but that is yet to materialise.
“The municipality wanted us to move out of this place because it is apparently near the electricity line and yet they (municipality) want to give out this land for the construction of a church,” she said.
Attempts to get comment from the City of Windhoek’s Manager for Corporate Communication, Joshua Amukugo, prove futile since calls made to his mobile phone went unanswered.