NKURENKURU – The town of Nkurenkuru was overwhelmed last week Friday as hundreds of people flocked to automatic-teller machines (ATMs) to withdraw the once-off emergency income grant of N$750 from the government
The grant, which is for Namibians whose livelihoods are affected by coronavirus, was however received with mixed feelings. The recipients feel although it will help cover up with affordable necessities for the time being, the amount is not sufficient to sustain them for long, also considering that it is a once-off payment.
“For today, people are grateful but very soon the money will be finished but there is still no work, so the struggle will continue. They should have made it for at least two months – maybe it will be better,” said a 30-year-old Johannes Nterere Mufenda.
Mufenda makes a living from transporting passengers to and from the town. He said the transport business is hugely affected as he now often drives from his village, Musese, 50 kilometres to town, without even a single passenger; hence, he is at times forced to park the car.
Eveline Sinoka from
Mpungu village, whose small business also closed because she sells traditional brewed beer, locally known as Mundevere, said the grant will enable her to buy the food they have been struggling to get since she closed her business.
Nonetheless, she also feels the amount is not sufficient to sustain her and her family for long, compared to when she used to make her income.
“I think the government must consider increasing the amount because we cannot survive on the N$750. We will only buy food today and it is already finished – and for us who came from Mpungu, we still have to pay N$120 for transport,” said Sinoka.
“Life has become tough for me. The thought of buying a bag of flour, relish and soaps from a N$750 is unbearable. A lot also depends on me at home,” bemoaned another informal trader, 41-year-old Veronica Dominga Johannes from Nkurenkuru.