Xoboxobos miners hit by hail and heavy winds

26 Apr 2017 15:30pm
UIS, 26 APR (NAMPA) – A hail and wind storm on Friday afternoon blew away five accommodation structures and a storeroom of small-scale miners at the Xoboxobos camp in the Erongo Region.
Xoboxobos is situated some 80 kilometres east of the Uis settlement near the Brandberg Mountains.
A resident, Annelie Shihepo, told Nampa on Monday at Uis that about 20 people were affected.
More than 50 men and women stay in temporary shelters made with cardboard and plastic materials at the foot of mountain. They mine gemstones in the hot, dry and rocky area.
“The water and wind swept away food, identity documents and money. My boyfriend, Alfred Lukas, lost N.dollars 9 100,” said Shihepo.
She said they only managed to recover three corrugated iron sheets.
The storeroom and a shaded area were also blown away.
These structures plus an electric drill were provided by the Daures Constituency Development Fund and Erongo Regional Development Fund in July 2015.
Shihepo said this was the first storm they experienced since they started mining there in 2000.
“A lady with her baby on her back was almost swept away, but luckily she held on to a pole and was rescued by men,” she said.
The affected miners are now in dire need of food and building materials to reconstruct their dwellings. They do not have transport to Uis.
“They refuse to abandon work and come home because there is nothing to do here; they need to continue making money,” said Shihepo.
Uis Chief Control Officer, Amingo /Honeb on Tuesday said his office is already finalising ways to assist with food through their Disaster Risk Fund and the governor’s office.