A group of 20 youths have embarked on a voluntary cleanup campaign called Green Town Namibia to clean up the Witvlei village, a job they do every last Saturday of the month since they are saying the government through the village council is not doing anything to tidy the village.
“We can’t sit and wait for the government to do this, if we do that, our place will be unhygienic and filthy. We have small kids playing at dump sites and that is not healthy and that is why we have decided to come up with this project to just pick up the dirt around the village,” said youth activist Franzis Eises.
She told Youth Corner that the council has refused to give the youth the park for gathering purposes, saying it is already occupied. Youth Corner went on a sightseeing mission and came across the deserted park and a youth centre meant for youth-related activities at the village currently being rented out to private individuals.
“For the youth centre, we also wrote a proposal and a business plan, and we wrote the plan and reverted to the council. The village council is getting money from those renting so we thought it would be ideal to use that money and pay for Wi-Fi and with online applications; the youth will come here and have something productive to do. We don’t know where the money is going because it is not benefiting the youth,” pondered Eises.
She said the group has also requested for computers but hasn’t received anything to date. “We have received computer training and now that we don’t have access to computers, it means that training went to waste. All our requests were declined. The abuse of alcohol is ravaging the youth of Witvlei.’’
‘’There is already an issue of not having jobs, and now alcohol has taken precedence. Some youths are working at the charcoal factory – and as you can see them now, they knock off at 16:00 and the first places they head to are the pubs and clubs. It seems to be the only place they look forward to after an exhausting day at work, a place that brings them peace,” detailed Eises.
What is so worrisome is they go to the clubs, take things on credit and pay when they receive their money. “When payday comes, it was all for nothing and your pockets are still empty – and you eventually have to settle your debts. So what that means is now you settle your debts and take beverages or drugs on credit again and settle your outstanding debt when you get paid again. It’s a vicious and sad cycle that needs to be addressed,” said a concerned Eises.
She said those in charge of looking after the people in the village should priorities the youth. “The youth are the leaders of tomorrow, as they say – and as the parents and grandparents are passing, it’s only us who will be left here. In this case and the way things are being done and managed, it is almost as if the youth are the ones dying first and the older generation will live forever. The infighting and killings are also getting worse here.
She added: “I know it is not easy for someone to bring in business and investors but there is a possibility of that happening; it’s all about knocking at the right door for people to come to invest in our village. It can be a small hub for businesses. If that happens, the jobless will have jobs, especially the youth. When the youth are employed, the drinking and stealing will also be minimized; the elderly will be burdened less when it comes to taking care of their children. The weight will be lifted off their shoulders”.