Nuusita Ashipala ONGWEDIVA - More than 50 percent of the San community in Ohangwena were issued with national Identity Documents (IDs) during community registration campaign held between March and April this year. Most of these are nomadic settlers in the region. The campaign targeted 80 percent of the 3 500 population in the region who have been without IDs since March. The campaign issued birth certificates to unregistered children as well as elder San villagers with national identity documents. The campaign was also extended to marginalised San inmates at Eenhana and Okongo holding cells. Development Planner responsible for the marginalised community in Ohangwena Region Tomas Puleinge said the initiative was vital, as many San have been deprived from receiving government social grants including pension payouts and social grants. Puleinge is a regional representative in the Office of the Vice-President in the President’s Office responsible for the marginalised community. In addition to the national documents registration, those in need of social grants were also registered by the Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare. “As a result of a lack of proper housing structures, San community members also indicated that their documents have been damaged by rain while some were lost during the relocation from one area to the next,” Puleinge said as he narrated some of the reasons that led to the one-month campaign. According to Puleinge, due to the nomadic nature of these San community members, it was difficult to determine the nationality of some because they moved between Namibia and neighbouring Angola. Equally, he said some people showed up drunk at the registration points, while others refused to be transported in vehicles to registration points saying it was a sin to get into vehicles. In addition, some gave different names from the ones they are known while those whose national documents were lost could not remember the names under which they were previously registered. Puleinge also expressed concern regarding the time allocated for this exercise, saying it was not sufficient to carry out the exercise because some people also travelled to farms in Angola during the rainy season.
2018-05-30 09:20:44 3 months ago