Thirteen shacks destroyed in Walvis Bay fire

16 Jan 2017 15:00pm
WALVIS BAY, 16 JAN (NAMPA) - A shack fire in Walvis Bay’s Kuisebmond on Saturday left eight children without school uniforms and books.
The blaze destroyed 13 structures erected behind a house next to the town mayor’s house.
About 30 people were affected by the fire.
They suspect an intoxicated neighbour was cooking and left a pot unattended on a stove, which might have caused the fire.
“I don’t know what to do because I do not have money to buy new uniforms,” Riana Awases, 31, told Nampa at the scene on Sunday. She was referring to her two daughters' uniforms.
Another parent, 38-year-old Rachel Motabe, fell from the roof of the shack and dislocated her knee while attempting to extinguish the fire.
“I could not stand by and watch the fire destroy our property,” said Motabe while balancing on crutches.
Walvis Mayor Immanuel Wilfred was found sympathising with his neighbours at the scene.
He said firefighters battled to put out the fire as it spread very fast.
Wilfred said they have assessed the situation and took note who was affected so they can solicit help.
He said he had asked the Erongo Regional Electricity Distributor company to assist in buying the uniforms.
“We also have a little food collected from local business owners.”
Wilfred said landlessness is a challenge at the harbour town, adding that fires can only be reduced when people get proper brick houses.
He said council planned to relocate close to 50 000 landless people to Farm 37 south of Walvis Bay, near Dune 7, but their application for land there was turned down by the Namibia Planning Advisory Board (Nampab).
This board comprises members appointed by the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, and amongst other duties, is responsible for supervising all local authorities and regional councils with regards to town planning.
Wilfred said council has now applied for Farm 33 for the same purpose and they are waiting for a response.