28 Dec 2015 10:50am
WALVIS BAY, 28 DEC (NAMPA) - Food vendors lost property and money after their tents were soaked during the high tide at Independence Beach in Walvis Bay on Saturday.
A big wave caused by the high tide at around 03h00 caused serious damage to property such as refrigerators, sound systems and cellphones.
Small business owners applied to the Walvis Bay Municipality to set up tents at the beach to sell food and alcohol during the festive season.
There are more than 10 stalls and tents of which about four were underwater.
Nelago Ephraim, a trader who was found dismantling her soaked tent, said her two freezers and a CD player were damaged.
Ephraim sells fried meat and beverages.
I heard the wave as it approached and I ran outside to wake everyone. People were still sleeping in their tents but luckily nobody was injured.
She did not make any profit as she only operated for one day.
Ephraim now has to cover the cost of the tent she hired for N.dollars 1 500.
She said this was the first time something like this has happened in the two years she has been doing business at the beach.
Another vendor, Ndeyapo Kalimbo, who was still packing the food from the soaked tent at the time of interview, said: My refrigerator was in the water and now it is not working. The wave was very fast. I heard the sound as it approached but by the time I got up, the whole tent was under water. I lost N.dollars 300 in the commotion.
She also made no profit and has to pay N.dollars 600 for having hired the tent.
I do not know how I will get the money to pay for the tent and buy a new fridge. I cannot continue selling because the whole place is under water, she said.
Her business partner, Silas Shikesho said he lost a cellphone, which he suspects was washed away during the high tide.
Two other people told Nampa they also lost their cellphones.
If it was not for the tide, we could have made good money. This place was full of people and we thought it would continue, said Protasius Dominikus of African Madam Restaurant.
Those who were not affected moved away from the water and soaked tents to continue doing business.
The affected vendors said they could unfortunately not blame anyone for the disaster, as it is natural.
They said they have however learned their lesson and will in future set up their tents further away from the sea.