KAPAKO - Leader of the Mbunza Traditional Authority Hompa Alfons Kaundu has commended government for the emergency income grant that is being implemented nationally to cushion the impact of Covid-19 on the less privileged.
“I would like to commend our government on its decision to grant mostly unemployed Namibians with the emergency income grant. Government saw the need to assist citizens in this hard time that we are fighting with a deadly enemy, Covid-19,” he said.
Since Friday, people especially young people stood in long queues at auto-teller machines (ATMs) to withdraw the N$750 grant.
Kaundu advised beneficiaries to buy essentials such as food and other needs such as soaps to maintain basic hygiene.
“This grant has really come in handy as some people have lost out on their incomes as they used to sell vegetables in the streets and markets which were stopped due to regulations to curb the spread of Covid-19 and some use to work in sheebeens that are still closed and so on,” he continued.
Government has relaxed some Covid-19 regulations and will now allow informal traders to operate under strict conditions.
Kaundu warned those selling alcohol backdoor to stop sabotaging government efforts to stop the spread of Covid-19.
“Alcohol brings two or three people together and that is what they are trying to avoid, so if government says let’s not brew or sell alcohol, no alcohol should be sold or bought during this period and I also expect my subjects to adhere to that,” he said.
“We are hearing a lot of people are dying in some countries that is what our government is trying to save us from and our population is small so let’s adhere and leave the alcohol and gatherings for now because this virus is deadly and we must all assist government to help us. Alcohol has been there and will always be there. The police must deal with those having problems to adhere.”
Meanwhile, a challenge noted by New Era was that Kavango West only has ATMs in Nkurenkuru, so many less fortunate people travelled long distances to get their grant, either in Nkurenkuru or travel to Rundu to and have spent most of it on transport.
Senior public relations officer of the Kavango West Regional Council Salomon Tenga, was quoted as saying that the emergency income grant (EIG) was a challenge as the region that is extremely rural has a lack of cellphone reception in most areas and due to that many people who were supposed to benefit where left out.
“EIG was a challenge for many in Kavango West. Poor or lack of availability of mobile network in some areas of the Kavango West region has resulted in many possible beneficiaries not having benefited from the EIG payments,” he said.