AMINIUS – The Covid-19 outbreak that reared its ugly head at the beginning of 2020 has harshly impacted economic activity across the globe to the extent that no country has been unaffected. This factor not only has severe consequences for the domestic economy but it has also trickled down to every virtual aspect of society, which in turn has led to dramatic changes in how businesses act and consumers behave.
One of the places in Namibia where the impact of the pandemic is still being felt to the core is in the Aminius constituency in the Omaheke region. When New Era visited the area on Friday, market places were empty as an indication of dramatic drop in the purchasing power of the community.
Even though Aminius received good rainfall since the beginning of this year, residents described the bountiful showers as bad timing, saying the rain killed most of their cattle, as they were just recovering from a heavy drought situation. In this regard, they said the pandemic took away most aspects of their livelihoods.
At the ground-breaking ceremony last week Friday in Toasis village at Hosea Kutako’s homestead, where the government is set to construct a memorial museum and homestead shrine, Aminius Constituency Councillor Peter Kazongominja said such a project will to a certain extent assist the community to start recovering from the impact of the pandemic.
He noted that the project would benefit youth in Toasis village, specifically after project managers were requested to cater to this population segment.
“Small medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the region are severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic; people lost their income and the purchasing power decreased significantly. Now, I believe with this project, some businesses will pick up. Crop transformation in the region has changed and not only depends on cattle farming alone. Aminius is moving in the right direction on food sustainability, as it embarked on diversification already,” stated Kazongominja.
Meanwhile, Omaheke Governor Pijoo Nganate said the museum project is of great significance for the region and the constituency – not only for cultural and heritage aspects but also economically and for social integration.
A local vendor, Evangeline Kavekunua, who sells kapana in Onderombapa, said her revenue decreased significantly, as she now earns about N$50 after three days. Kavekunua, who is in her early 30s, said she struggles with her two children who are both younger than five years. Kavekunua further noted that they have not received any relief grants or food assistance from the government.
“How can we survive from such low revenue? The situation will force a lot of children to be on the street in the long run because we will not have the required money to pay schools,” she narrated.
Another vendor, Puumue Maharero, a mother and breadwinner who sells kapana in the same area, added that she sometimes goes an entire week with no sales. She urged government to consider assisting the community. Currently, the constituency has a massive road infrastructure project that commenced in October 2019 and is expected to be completed in December 2021. This is the construction of Section B of the road project, which will run from Onderombapa to Aranos via Aminius to connect the Omaheke and Hardap regions.