WALVIS BAY - The Walvis Bay municipality has closed a number of facilities, including the popular Ekutu Latika open market in Kuisebmond, as part of an attempt to avoid the further spread of coronavirus. The municipal council also banned street vending until further notice, while it closed down three municipal libraries, museum, parks, swimming pools and all public markets.
No bookings will be taken for any of the town halls. The Ekutu Latika open market is usually a hive of activity and is frequented by locals for homemade brew, traditional food and fruit and vegetables. Walvis Bay mayor Wilfred Immanuel yesterday said they understand the predicament in which the vendors found themselves.
However, council cannot take chances when it comes to the health and safety of residents after two cases of novel coronavirus were confirmed in the country last weekend.
“We have met with the committee of street vendors and traders at Ekutu Latika on Monday and briefed them about the situation. They understood that it is for their own safety,” Immanuel explained yesterday. Immanuel also said they are aware that street vending is the main source of income for many families and that is why council is looking at a contingency plan that will help them while the facilities remain closed.
“This was so sudden and we know that they will eventually struggle with basics after a week or two that is why we will be consulting to see how we will get stakeholders on board to try and minimise the food shortages these families will experience at a later stage,” he said. Namibian police community affairs commander for Erongo Ileni Shapumba also said that it is a worrisome situation although the prompt action by the municipality should be applauded.
“Yes, people will struggle but one’s health is much more important as places like Ekutu Latika are more susceptible to health outbreaks,” he said. He added that they also visited the informal settlement Twaloloka to explain and create awareness of the coronavirus among residents. The informal settlement is home to about 2 000 residents.
Eveline de Klerk
2020-03-18 07:07:51 | 6 months ago