Two missing little girls found wandering in the desert

Niël Terblanché

Two little girls, who disappeared from their home in the Kuisebmond neighbourhood of Walvis Bay on Saturday, were taken to hospital for observation after they were tracked down in the desert behind the Rooikop military base.

According to Inspector Ileni Shapumba, the head of the Namibian Police’s community affairs division in the Erongo Region, the two sisters aged eight and ten, disappeared from their home on Saturday.

“The circumstances at their home and the circumstances which surround their disappearance are currently the subject of an investigation,” said Shapumba.

The search parties consisting of police officers, members of the Namibian Defence Force and some members of the various Neighbourhood Watch Groupings in Walvis Bay have been searching for the two little girls since Sunday morning.

According to Inspector Shapumba, the older sister was discovered wandering in the desert to the southwest of the Rooikop military base sometime on Sunday, and she was wearing the clothes of her little sister when she was found.

“The search parties stopped their search late on Sunday evening when it got too dark. However, all of the search parties were on the scene again by sunrise on Monday morning. The eight-year-old girl was also found wandering the desert near the military base shortly before 11:00 on Monday morning,” he said.

The little girl was taken to the Walvis Bay State Hospital for observation after suffering two nights of exposure to the cold desert air, she was wearing her older sister’s clothes.

“It seems as if the girls swapped their clothes during their ordeal, we are still trying to ascertain what exactly transpired,” said Shapumba.

He further extended the gratitude of the Namibian Police to all other parties that were involved in the search.

“People simply volunteered and used their own resources to assist with the search. It is in our interest to seek solutions to any social problems that could have caused the little girls to go missing,” he expressed.

One of the volunteers who participated in the search said the little girl who was found on Monday morning told her that she and her sister left their home to go and visit their grandmother.

“She told me that they only knew that their grandmother lived far away. She told me that she was very cold at night and that she just kept walking,” the volunteer said.

According to the volunteer, both little girls suffered from severe dehydration and that they were so weak that police officers had to carry them inside the hospital to receive treatment.

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