HOMELESS PEOPLE NEEDING FOOD AT ROSH PINAH
By: Paulus Shiku
(NAMPA FEATURES SERVICE)
ROSH PINAH, 23 MAY (NAMPA) ? All citizens are called upon to extend a helping hand to a group of homeless and destitute people who have been roaming the streets of the Rosh Pinah settlement in the coldness of winter without anything to eat.
To protect their frail and hungry bodies from the harsh winter weather at night, the group of six persons - four men, a woman and a child ? have resorted to seeking shelter in an abandoned toilet behind a rundown building in the Tutungeni informal settlement of Rosh Pinah in the Karas Region.
The Swapo-Party coordinator for the Rosh Pinah branch, Lazarus Nangolo told Nampa on Thursday that he decided to appeal for help after noticing the desperate condition in which the six people were living as he was walking around town last month.
The group is said to have been living under these terrible conditions since 2011.
?One man suffers from epileptic attacks, while another uses crutches to walk because he had injured one of his legs. I think they also need medical attention,? Nangolo told this news agency.
He said the poor people?s lives are clearly in serious danger, even from the elements, and there is thus an urgent need to find them accommodation and food.
They have all along been relying on Good Samaritans for food and handouts.
?I personally bought them maize meal, cooking oil, canned fish and beans with money from my own pocket last week, but other residents also assist them with food,? Nangolo said.
He thus appealed to Government and local business people to assist the group with material for the construction of at least two corrugated iron-sheet houses, as well as some food.
Mirjam Noodi, a local community activist, confirmed that she was well-aware of the terrible condition under which the six people were living, but said this was but just the tip of the iceberg.
She told Nangolo in a telephonic interview earlier that she had recorded at least 23 households from the Tutungeni informal settlement as being in similar need of food.
?Two persons, a man and woman died last year, and hunger is suspected to have been the cause of death. The police came to take them to the hospital in Luderitz, but they died there,? Noodi explained.
It is suspected that most of the affected people are farm workers, who lost their work and moved to the settlement. Others were working as domestic workers, and became destitute when they also lost their jobs.
According to Noodi, these 23 households also include people who are elderly but are not yet registered to receive their old-age social pension grants from Government.
Nangolo said because Rosh Pinah is run by RoshSkor under the Skorpion Zinc Mine, there is no settlement office where people could access Government services.
In most cases, people tend to approach the Swapo-Party offices with their problems.
Efforts to get comments from Oranjemund and Rosh Pinah Constituency Councillor Eliphas Iita on this matter proved futile, as he was continuously not reachable on his mobile phone.
Approached for comment on Thursday, the special advisor to the Karas regional governor, Lucia Basson, said she is also aware of the hunger situation at Rosh Pinah.
Basson said a team from the Karas Regional Council will be sent to Rosh Pinah to register these people so that they can receive drought relief food.
?In March last year, I sent them blankets and beans, which were donated through our office,? she noted.
She also pointed out that RoshSkor has availed land for a settlement office, and the Karas Regional Council is thus in the process of signing the agreement to establish an office there this year.
The Emergency Food Security Assessment in Communal and Resettlement Areas in Namibia, which was conducted in May this year by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), indicates that an estimated 330 927 citizens do not have any food security, while 447 577 are only moderately-secure of having food.
Basson says the inhabitants of the Karas Region, who have been facing food shortages, are mostly in towns and settlements, as compared to other regions where those who need food are mainly from the rural areas.