A family of 10 from the Oshitenda informal settlement on the outskirts of Windhoek is living in the open after mysterious fires continue to torment their four-bedroom home since 26 August this year.
Ndapona Kangwia, who lives with her husband, daughter and other relatives, said the mysterious fires have left them traumatized and fearful. She said strange fires continued to break out in the last two weeks, destroying her family’s personal property in the process. “Donated items like blankets and a tent are the latest items to be destroyed by these fires,” the 35-year-old Kangwia, who is employed as a domestic worker, told New Era this week. The fires, which allegedly started on 26 August in one of the rooms, have been moving from room to room torching different items at a time and recurring three to four times almost daily. This forced the family to move their remaining belongings outside. “We were sleeping in a tent but that also caught fire,” said Kangwia who has been living in the area for the past 13 years. The community and Good Samaritans have come together to assist with donations but fear this might be in vain, as the fires have followed the family even outside their home. Since the outbreak of the strange fires, the family has been seeking divine intervention. They lost items such as mattresses, clothes, couches, television sets, cables and food to the mysterious fires. Kangwia’s 11-year-old daughter’s school bag, containing books and clothes, was also not spared. “We are left with no choice but to keep items soaked in water. This is to salvage whatever is left,” she narrated. Kangwia, who added nine separate fires occurred on their property on Monday this week, said her family was left with no choice but to continue praying for the better. This past Sunday, the family lost more blankets in a recurring fire that were recently donated by the City of Windhoek and government’s disaster risk management department. Pastors have also visited the family but according to Kangwia, as soon as they leave, the fire starts. Good Samaritans built a shelter for them as the rainy season seems to have started but again the fear that it might be destroyed remains. Moses Amukwaya, who is a community leader, has praised local residents for coming out in numbers to assist the haunted family.