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Hunger stalks impoverished family

2020-06-24  Selma Ikela

Hunger stalks impoverished family
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An unemployed woman and her three children are living off handouts and sometimes go without having a meal for days. 
The mother Peneombili Shindume lives with her family, which includes a wheelchair-bound teenage boy, in Goreangab informal settlement. 
When New Era visited the family last week, they had gone for three days without a meal. The 35-year-old Shindume said she and her family have been surviving off handouts and last bought food on Saturday after a relative donated N$200 for their household. 
“Life is rough, especially caring for my children. We spent three days without eating until a relative sent a N$200 and we bought some food. I’m not a recipient of any food handed out in the constituency,” said Shindume. 

All four members of the household have no birth certificates or any national documents to enable them to at least qualify for a social grant. 
Shindume hails from Angola and has been living in Namibia for 16 years. The father of her children is a Namibian national but lives in a different town. 

He has other children besides the one with Shindume. 
Shindume said although the father occasionally assists them, his contribution has been minimal, especially during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The settlement does not have proper ablution facilities and as a result Shindume’s son is forced to relieve himself in a bucket.  
The mother said her neighbours hurl bad words at her and accuse them of witchcraft when she disposes of the waste in the area.
“This hurts me greatly,” said a weeping Shindume. 

She pleaded to good Samaritans to donate food, clothes as well as blankets to her family.  Meanwhile, home affairs ministry spokesperson Sacky Kadhikwa said children born by Namibian parents qualify for national documents. 
But Kadhikwa explained that since the mother does not have any documentation, she must approach the Angolan consulate to be given the necessary documentation, while her children apply for birth certificates. 
“She must go to the Angolan embassy in Windhoek to acquire one,” said Kadhikwa.

2020-06-24  Selma Ikela

Tags: Khomas
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