KAUTI – A family at Kauti village at Ncuncuni constituency in Kavango West lost an entire harvest of mahangu after a fire engulfed the homestead on Saturday.
Three huts were razed down by the fire in the process.
About seven 50kg bags of mahangu and a 220-litre drum with grain burnt down.
“The fire started in the kitchen hut where my wife was cooking some relish for dinner,” said the devastated 63-year-old pensioner Greigor Mushumpuko Shimbumburu.
The incident happened on Saturday afternoon at around 16h00.
“My wife went to put a pot on fire and shortly after that, my little grandson went in to drink water and he came out; some minutes later, my wife who was on her way to go fetch water from the borehole, came back running and screaming,” Shimbumburu narrated.
“We tried to stop the fire but as old and disabled as I am, I couldn’t do much – and at that time we were only three in our homestead.”
He said neighbours also tried to put out the fire, but the windy conditions did not help much, as the fire rapidly spread to other parts of the homestead.
“Our livelihood depends on subsistence farming; we depend on the mahangu that was burnt. We have no source of income and my pension grant is not enough to cater for all my children and grandchildren, so now that our mahangu has been destroyed, it is not going to be easy,” he said.
“My wife and I care for 11 children: six of them are our kids and five [are our] grandchildren. Six of the 11 children live with us here while the five older ones who are in secondary school are in town, Rundu, at our place at Ndama informal settlement; they also depend on us,” he noted.
The family said they will really appreciate any food or any aid that can come from any Good Samaritans out there, as these coming months are going to be tough for them.
“All our mahangu, pots, cups and plates burned in the fire,” he said.