Desperation driving Kunene inhabitants to Opuwo

26 Oct 2016 15:30pm
By Uerikoha Tjijombo
OPUWO, 26 OCT (NAMPA) - Service delivery by the Opuwo Town Council is being put under pressure as people who battle to survive elsewhere in the Kunene Region, are relocating to the town.
A new settlement occupied by hundreds of people, mostly from the area of Etanga, has formed between the Roman Catholic Church and Ouranda settlement in this regional capital.
Etanga is situated some 100 kilometres west of Opuwo.
Many said life in villages has become meaningless as people have lost large amounts of livestock due to the ongoing drought. Others are in Opuwo for medical treatment.
Karihihitua Ngombe, 87, said he lost 308 heads of cattle to the drought and had to migrate to Opuwo to make ends meet after his wife and children left him as they could no longer bear life without cattle.
“I came to Opuwo and put up my tent here and I am surviving from begging. I am a pensioner, but my pension cannot take me through as I share it with some of my children and I have almost nothing left to survive on,” Ngombe told Nampa recently.
Veisapo Maundu left the Etanga village with her 11 children as they thought life would be easier in Opuwo, but they have since found that this is not the case.
“We even have to go without water for more than four days as we don’t have money to buy water which is a basic commodity we need to survive, even more than food,” Maundu said.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Opuwo Town Council, Alfons Tjitombo told Nampa in an interview on Monday the council is aware of the influx of people and it is placing the council under pressure with regards to service delivery.
“This means the council has to see to it that there is enough water points for these residents, enough abolition facilities and refuse removal services, to mention but a few,” Tjitombo said.
He said before the drought farmers injected a lot of money into the economy of Opuwo and they cannot turn a blind eye to their needs.
“We cannot pretend that we do not see these people’s suffering,” the CEO said.
Tjitombo also said some people come to Opuwo to get better access to food under the drought relief programme as their villages are not easily accessible.
“We are aware of the influx and we are working around the clock to make sure there is a solution to this problem at town council level,” he said.