Poverty has forced 44-year-old Israel Noa from Rehoboth to walk a distance of 10 kilometres regularly to collect firewood to make a living.
For more than a decade, Noa has been surviving from selling firewood to residents of Block H in Rehoboth.
“I have a family to provide food for, and I came here a decade ago to seek employment. There are no jobs available in town, and I do not want to steal. I thus decided to start my small business to earn an income,” he narrated.
Noa added that he used to make an average of N$40 per day when the business was booming before the competition became tougher.
“That was enough to buy maize meal, cooking oil and a tin of fish. But now that my neighbour and three other people in the location are involved in the same business, the average I can make in a day is N$15,” he said.
The determined firewood seller said a bunch of wood costs N$5.
“Before the competition became tough, I had saved properly and bought my bicycle to make the work easier,” he proudly said while showing his newly bought bicycle to New Era.
Now that he has a bicycle, he undertakes two trips per day to make sure that he has enough stock to sell and make a profit to feed his family.
Noa has three children and a wife. His wife is unemployed, and two of his children are attending school.
“I do not want them to study on an empty stomach because I am unemployed. Their future looks promising because they are very smart. I thus need to provide for them,” he continued.
Noa has encouraged other unemployed people to refrain from committing crimes, but to start any small business that requires no startup capital so that they too can make a living.