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Poverty-hit family struggles to make ends meet

2021-05-18  Obrien Simasiku

Poverty-hit family struggles to make ends meet

TSUMEB - A San family of four is living in a deplorable condition in the Kuvukiland informal settlement here with no other means of survival, while they don’t even have identity documents.

Although mother Emma Nua has an identity document, her husband and their three children do not posses any, making it difficult for them to apply for social grants. The children, who are all under the age of 10, are resultantly also unable to attend school. They live at the mercy of the community who from time to time give them handouts. The latest to aid them is selfless community member Israel Haikali, who gave the family a blanket, bed, bag of maize meal, rice as well as some meat.  “I found this family in a deplorable state where they sleep on the ground, and go for days without eating anything. They were just in the streets, but luckily where they are accommodated
now is someone’s shack, who just pitied them,” he explained. 

Haikali, who is employed as a cleaner at the Tsumeb state hospital, said he has been doing community service for years now by feeding the needy from his meagre salary. 

“I have about 20 people I am feeding, and who are staying at my place. They have just become part of the family. I suffered in my upbringing, hence it pains me to
see others going through
hardships,” he remarked. 

Speaking through a translator, 34-year-old Nua said she has made attempts to register for national documents, but is often turned down.  Meanwhile, Tsumeb constituency councillor Gottlieb Ndjendjela said his office has a good working relationship with Home Affairs’ officials, which has made it easy to assist people in such situations. 

“The problem with our people is that they do not want to come to the offices and get the right information and assistance. I, therefore, urge them to come through. They should present some form of documents, either from the church, a headman or anything to signify their existence as Namibians,” added Ndjendjela. 

On the other hand, regional head of the poverty eradication ministry Petrus Kuutondokwa said they can only assist with social grants once the family obtains national documents. 

However, it is not a guarantee that they would benefit by merely getting identity documents, as the ministry will indeed need to investigate their circumstances and evaluate whether they qualify. “We have guidelines in place to follow and determine who qualifies and who doesn’t. 

So, it’s not an automatic thing that they will become beneficiaries upon the issuance of documents. For now, it is best they consult home affairs,” stated Kuutondokwa.


2021-05-18  Obrien Simasiku

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