WALVIS BAY – Several homeless residents of Walvis are enduring untold daily hardship, struggling to fulfill their basic needs since the lockdown to curtail the spread of the fast spreading global pandemic came into effect.
About 60 street dwellers who occupied abandoned houses to keep themselves off the streets were engaged in odd, piece-meal jobs to survive, however they have lost their sole source of income after the lockdown was announced last month by President Hage Geingob as a measure to stop the devastating Covid-19 virus from spreading.
Monalisa Khaibes, a homeless woman said she is a hair stylist and also did some washing and ironing to make ends meet, however she cannot do so anymore due to the lockdown.
“It is extremely difficult to survive without an income, especially for those with children as the conditions are unhygienic,” she shared with New Era.
Regina Jansen also occupying one of the abandoned houses with Khaibes said that it is hard to cope, especially without their usual income. Jansen originally from Arandis explained she worked as a waitress and that their industry is one worst affected by the pandemic.
Asked how she ended up living on the streets, Jansen said it was indeed by her own doing.
“ My family home is in Arandis. I also have a brother and sister that works at the mine and my sister is a teacher. However, I ended up here because of my life choices,” she explained.
Blanche Cloete, who also lives at the house says they are aware of Covid-19 and how it is being spread. “We know what to do and how to take care of ourselves and our children. It’s not the ideal environment, but we are lucky to have a roof over our heads. We are a family regardless of our background, we look after each other,” she said.
Walvis Bay mayor Immanuel Wilfred visited the group to render some support.
According to Wilfred, the municipality took a bold step to connect water at seven houses that are currently occupied by these homeless people.
. He added that it is a temporary measure aimed at making water accessible to all residents of the town, during the lockdown.
“We cannot take any chances with Covid-19 as it affects all of us and water is a need during this time,” said the mayor.
He noted the homeless were also assisted with basic food supplies such as fish, maize flour, sugar, cooking oil among others to help them cope during the lockdown period.