Lack of proper housing leaves devastating consequences

Stefanus Nashama

“People do not have places to live so they erect shacks anywhere they find open spaces and the challenge is that there is no water and electricity. Unfortunately they have to use firewood, candles and gas stoves,” these were the words of Jochobeth !Noabes, an eyewitness to a tragic shack fire that left a family of three homeless last Thursday.

The three bedroom shack caught fire last week Thursday evening, leaving a mother and two children homeless. The incident took place in Windhoek’s Goreangab informal settlement at around 20H30 when two boys (7 ) and (15) were cooking on a gas stove while home alone.

All items were burnt to ashes, however no injuries or fatalities were reported.

Another eyewitness and neighbor, Katijiomukao Mungunda says the boys were home alone at the time while the mother travelled to the north about a week ago.

He said the boys ran to report the incident at a neighbour but it was too late.

!Noabes, described the incident as ‘horrible’, adding that there was no way they could help.

She has since urged the City of Windhoek to provide people at informal settlement with water, electricity and better places.

The mother, who is a victim indicated that she has lost many thing in the fire including three furniture beds, blankets, sofas, two fridges, TV, clothes and food amongst other things.

“We really need help. We just sleep and eat at a neighbouring house,” said the victim.

Community activist Fabianus Redemtus was not at the scene at the time of the incident but confirmed that the matter is known by the constituency councillor.

Samoa Machel constituency councillor Nestor Kalola confirmed the incident, adding that he visited the scene on Saturday.

“Nothing came out, even the zincs are burnt and can no longer be used at all,” Kalola confirmed.

The councillor said he gave the victims some food he bought with money out of his pocket.

He has since urged people to refrain from erecting shacks close to one another as it results in many shacks burning.

Kalola appealed to any good samaritans to come forward and give support to the victims through his office.

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