Young couple trapped in poverty

05 May 2020 | Local News

Kenya Kambowe

RUNDU



At Rundu's Tumweneni informal settlement, a young unemployed couple struggles to make ends meet.

For Maria Mbwenga (24) and her partner Antoka Kashera (27), securing food is a daily struggle, and at night, they lie down to sleep on the bare ground in the makeshift structure that is their home.

Mbwenga and Kashera shared how tough it is to find a job, which has made it difficult for them to survive.

Living in an informal settlement worsens their situation, they said, as they cannot lean on their neighbours who are in a similar situation.



In search of a better life

Having moved from their village to Rundu in search of a better life, the couple is among thousands of landless people who have settled illegally at Tumweneni.

If not for the odd jobs they get from time to time, they would be going to bed on an empty stomach, Mbwenga said.

When Namibian Sun met the couple, they had just finished playing a traditional game, Wera, which they said is the only thing that keeps them busy when things are particularly tough.



No options

“We don't have enough food to eat and as you have seen, our structure is not that good. Going back to the village is not an option because there is no work and life is much worse there,” they said.

Mbwenga added that when she does return to her village in search of food, she is told that she has a partner who must look after her.

The couple would prefer to be given jobs, saying “handouts do not last”.

They added that they won't mind taking any job, as they want to “work and earn money”.

However, for the Good Samaritans who would like to assist them, they would appreciate food, a bed or mattress and blankets, they said.

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