Homeless ‘rescued’, then abandoned

17 September 2021 | Local News



“We were better off on the streets.” These are the sentiments of some of the homeless people sheltered at the Katutura College of the Arts (KCAC) and Khomasdal Stadium when Namibian Sun visited them this week to assess their living conditions.

Claiming they have been forgotten, the group of about 150 say they were better off under the Wernhil bridge and in ‘prosperous’ alleys in town - where alms are easy to come by - than begging for government food parcels at their tented ‘villages’.

Rounded up by government officials at the dawn of the Covid-19 pandemic to curb the spread of the virus, they say they have been left high and dry by government.

Those settled at the Khomasdal Stadium say they are denied the opportunity to ‘zula’ to survive and are forced to wait desperately on government to come to their aid.

They, however, accused government officials in charge of the shelters of stealing food aid and donations from Good Samaritans as well as depriving them of Harambee food parcels.

“We see so many cars and trucks coming in here with meat and lots of food but we never see that food. We only zula here, we only ‘gabba’ [line-up for handouts] with an ice-cream container for oil and maize in the mornings and when we gabba, it’s once or twice a week, and when they feel like giving us food,” they said.

‘We are suffering’

One of the homeless, David Bernado, who hails from Tsumeb, said he only knows the streets and has been in jail several times.

According to him, they see trucks coming in with carcasses of meat but only receive ‘soup bones’ which they cannot even cook with, because they have no firewood.

According to him, the City of Windhoek supplies them with firewood but for the last three weeks, they have not received anything.

“We are really suffering here. Look at the woman cooking there, open that pot and see the kind of food in that pot. Last week, we saw a white man coming here with a Land Cruiser with meat but we only received bones that should be given to dogs.

“The officials come in the morning with empty handbags and leave in the afternoon with handbags they cannot even carry. We wonder what they are carrying in those bags. Perhaps our food. When we ask for food, they say there is nothing,” he said.

They also lamented exploitation by so-called Good Samaritans and churches who instruct them to fill in forms for aid, but help never comes.

“There was a pastor from a South African church who made us write our details and promised us clothes and toiletries but they never came back again,” they said.

Worrying about future

“All of us used the cellphone of one the social workers to apply for the N$750 [Covid-19 emergency income] grant but not a single one of us received that money or feedback from her. She is now gone and we received nothing,” one of the homeless said.

He added that they are not allowed to speak to anyone from the media, and at times, the gates are locked. They also stressed their worry about how they will cope when it starts raining.

“We don’t even have blankets. This other time I found a blanket in the rubbish bin, washed it and that is what I use. But the holes have grown bigger,” he said.

At the KCAC, the situation is even more dire as there are no daily portions of food and the homeless here are left to their own mercy.

Although they receive the so-called Harambee food parcels, these come only once a month and are often delayed for weeks.

Passing the buck

The volunteers on site told Namibian Sun that they are supervised by a social worker named Alida Wallace.

When contacted for comment, Wallace

said she left the shelter and is no longer responsible for the homeless. She referred queries to regional health director, Tomas Ukola the regional health director.

He, in turn, was surprised to learn Wallace referred questions to him.

According to Ukola, while they are not responsible for the general upkeep of the shelter, the social workers under his office are supposed to provide psychosocial support to the homeless.

Similar News


NHE hands over 40 houses in Okakarara

2 hours ago | Local News

Enzo Amuele OKAKARARAThe National Housing Enterprise (NHE) handed over a total of 40 dwellings built through a public-private partnership in Okakarara on...

Namibians want out of Chinese abattoir marriage

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Local News

TUYEIMO HAIDULA OSHAKATIA Namibian firm that was granted a 25-year contract to operate...

Trust govt with genocide money – Shilunga

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Local News

STAFF REPORTER WINDHOEKDeputy mines minister Kornelia Shilunga has urged the public to trust government...

Urgent need for SOE reform – Steytler

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Local News

OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKFormer economic advisor to the president and GIZ economist John Steytler says there is an urgent need to reform Namibia’s...

Swapo a hala uukumwe

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKESOnga oonkambadhala okushuna monkalo moka ya li nale onga ongundu kamana moshilongo ashihe, Swapo okwa tamekitha ekongo lyuukumwe mokati kaayambidhidhi niilyo.Amushanga gwongundu ndjoka Sophia...

Opombela yamalaria ya tameke mOngwediva

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Local News

TUYEIMO HAIDULAONGWEDIVAElelo lyondoolopa yaNgwediva oshiwike sha piti olya tamekitha oshikonga shopombela yomukithi gwomalaria, mo Extension 11, Extension 15 oshowo New Reception konima sho kwa kolekwa...

Elelo lyomuhanga lyaVenduka tali nanathana

2 days ago - 18 October 2021 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES NAOGONE TLHAGEOVENDUKAElelo lyomuhanga melelo lyoshilando shaVenduka itali tsu kumwe koshikumungu shekuto lyOmunambelelwa Omukuluntuwiliki gwelelo ndyoka, sho ongundu yi na omwaalu omunene gwaakalelipo melelo...

Aakwiita ya ka kuga koAR omolwa ekondjithilo lyowenda yoCovid-19

2 days ago - 18 October 2021 | Local News

OMUTOOLINKUNDANA GWOMENIOVENDUKAAakwiita mboka itaya popile otuntila yaayehe mEtanga lyEgameno omolwa oCovid-19 oya ka kuga onkugo koAffirmative Repositioning (AR) opo ya ka kwathelwe ya vule okuyanda...

Accusations pile up amidst #ShutItAllDown fraud scandal

5 days ago - 15 October 2021 | Local News

ESTER KAMATI WINDHOEKA Namibian online teen magazine on Wednesday came out with allegations that Lebbeus Hashikutuva, who they partnered with as...

City coalition holds crisis meeting

5 days ago - 15 October 2021 | Local News

JEMIMA BEUKES and OGONE TLHAGE WINDHOEKThe coalition partners on the City of Windhoek council have hit a brick wall over the recruitment...

Latest News

Police on trail of deadly...

11 hours ago | Crime

Omusati police are requesting for public assistance to help apprehend armed robbers who stormed Pep Store at Onandjaba in Okalongo and shot a male guard...

Failing should be even greater...

1 day - 19 October 2021 | People

Wetumwene Shikage Martins is a 26-year-old Namibian entrepreneur born and raised in Ondangwa. He approached one of the most challenging phases in his youth which...

Vehicle prices locally on a...

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Economics

PHILLEPUS UUSIKUGlobal shipping constraints and reduced production, resulting in delayed imports, are some of the factors that are driving up vehicle prices in Namibia.According to...

Body found in Kavango River...

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Crime

KENYA KAMBOWE RUNDUThe body of Engidius Kayanguya (35) from Rundu’s Sauyemwa township was found floating in the Kavango River last Monday with...

Church, civil society butt heads...

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES WINDHOEKThe Voices for Choices and Rights Coalition wants abortion to be legalised up to the seventh month of pregnancy,...


1 day - 19 October 2021 | Picture Gallery

Miss Namibia 2021, Chelsi Shikongo, and her runner-up, Annerrie Maré, both received cars to help them fulfil their duties. For the first time since Pupkewitz...

Blowing out somebody else’s candle...

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Youth

Emilie MandumeThe ‘We Care’ project was established under the School of Destiny Association (SODA) Consultancy and launched in February 2021. The initial aim is to...

The learners of Pro-Ed Academy...

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Opinion

Ceara SinclairI’m a grade 8 learner and I like to make bullet points on my notes as it helps me remember stuff easily. I also...

Save the economy by getting...

1 day - 19 October 2021 | Economics

STAFF REPORTERSpeakers at the ‘Pandenomics’ webinar recently hosted by Nedbank Namibia and Simonis Storm, and supported by Nedbank Business Banking and Nedbank Private Wealth, have...

Load More