Kuvukiland's woes continue

The more than 6 000 residents of Kuvukiland in Tsumeb say they are wallowing in filth and poverty.

01 March 2019 | Local News

Residents of Tsumeb's Kuvukiland informal settlement continue to demand basic services from the municipality, while saying all they have received is “empty promises” for the past decade.

The over 6 000 shackdwellers have no electricity and sewerage services, as well as refuse removal, leaving them wallowing in filth and poverty.

Residents earlier this week expressed their grievances in a petition which formed part of a mass demonstration that was scheduled to take place yesterday.

They want the municipality to provide them with electricity and construct proper streets.

They also want containers to address the litter problem and the proper maintenance of pre-paid water points, which they claim are dysfunctional most of the time.

“We are now residing on this land for 10 years and we are faced with a number of problems such as the rechargeable water taps, which are out of order every day. Electricity just stopped halfway,” the petition reads.

To make matters worse, last week, during a community meeting, the residents were informed that they will no longer receive water from a NamWater truck, which used to drive through the informal settlement and sell water directly to them. This means that some of the inhabitants of Kuvukiland, especially those on the outskirts who live far from the pre-paid water points, will be forced to seek an alternative supply.

According to the petition, the residents are also disappointed because the municipality has failed to provide proper streets. They say their vehicles are being damaged.

“Road infrastructure is the biggest issue here at Kuvukiland; especially if there is a house burning, or someone dies or someone is very sick, vehicles cannot drive through the streets because of the bad roads,” the petition reads.

Residents also said they feel victimised by law-enforcement official closing illegal shebeens.

They argue that due to the unavailability of jobs, they have been forced to look for alternative means to earn an income and support their families, yet their goods are confiscated and they are expected to pay fines that are higher than the value of the confiscated goods.

“We are unemployed and we are suffering. We are having children to take care off, but our goods are being confiscated and we never get them back,” the petition said.

When contacted for comment earlier this week, Tsumeb town council spokesperson Stella Imalwa-Nangolo said the municipality was not aware of the new complaints by Kuvukiland residents.

Imalwa-Nangolo, however, confirmed it is indeed true that the NamWater truck that used to supply water to various parts of the town, including Kuvukiland, will no longer do so.

“All that I know of is that at a community meeting last week the residents of Kuvukiland were informed about the truck that will stop providing water,” Imalwa-Nangolo said.

Kuvukiland was established at the end of 2010 when 10 people, who desperately needed a place to call home, started to erect shacks that were said at the time to be illegal.

The land belonged to Weatherly Mining Namibia until 2016, when the company gave it to the Tsumeb municipality to develop.

KENYA KAMBOWE

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