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Women's retreat empowers


THE Twapewa Kadhikwa Annual Women's Retreat weekend, which aimed to activate the faith of women, as well as renew their mindsets for a more productive and prosperous future, will be remembered by those who attended as a life changer.

'Ompata' Headed to Big Screen

THE gritty reality of township life is often overlooked or ignored, but young film-maker Roger Rafael has found a way to creatively tell these stories through a YouTube series titled 'Ompata'.


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Average house prices edge up


AT the end of March this year, the average price of a house in Namibia was N$1,2 million – about N$100 000 more than during the same time last year.

Namibians show interest in US trade

Elijah Mukubonda

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      SINCE she was a little girl, Elise Hausiku had a simple wish – to have a comfortable toilet.
      She is now 82 years old.

      This wish has not come true in what she calls “an independent Namibia”.
      “As a young girl, I thought my life would change for the better, even more so after independence. But today in my old age I do not have a permanent toilet structure.
      “I'm living off my old-age pension grant to take care of my family,” she says.
      Hausiku and her neighbours at Rundu's Ndama settlement have to dig holes in their yards every other month to relieve themselves.
      Ndama is considered to be one of the oldest and biggest settlements at the town.
      When The Namibian visited the area this week, John Ndara and Frans Sikerete were called to help Hausiku dig a new hole for her makeshift toilet.
      Hausiku said they were lucky Ndara, her nephew, was part of the digging team.
      “We normally pay a fee of N$50 for labour when we hire people,” she said.
      Another resident, Reginalda Kupembona, said residents have to wake up family members or neighbours to escort them to the 'toilet' at night, because it is not safe.
      “We use our cellphone torches to light our way to the makeshift toilets at night, because we do not even have electricity. We have to deal with insects when we go to the toilet. It is really bad to suffer like this while you are apparently living at a town,” she said.
      Residents Remigia Mukishi (34) and Theresia Mayongola (29) say they cannot continue living in an unhygienic environment in an independent Namibia.
      They said if a sewer line is installed in the area, they would be able to build permanent sanitation facilities at their houses.
      “There is no privacy or comfort when you want to use the toilet. Basically, these makeshift toilets are as good as public toilets because anyone can use it.
      “They're full of cockroaches and other insects, which enter our homes. It's not even safe for our toddlers, because they can fall into the toilets. The smell is also unbearable,” Mayongola said.
      Mukishi said they also need Ndama to be surveyed because some residents cannot build permanent structures, and this makes them feel excluded from enjoying their basic human right to a permanent shelter.
      Residents who are currently paying the Rundu Town Council for services such as water and fire emergency services have also complained about a lack of proper access roads to the area.
      Rundu chief executive officer Olavi Nathanael could not be reached for comment.
      The governor of the Kavango East region, Bonifatius Wakudumo, during his state of the region address this month revealed that land surveys for the formalisation of Sauyemwa Extension 11, Ndama Extension 14, and Kaisosi Extension 12 have been completed at a cost of N$1 419 910.
      “In this regard, 1 033 erven have been surveyed,” he said.
      He also said two boreholes were drilled at Ndama at a cost of N$499 537, which would benefit 10 000 households.
      According to the Namibian Statistics Agency (NSA) inter-censal demographic survey released in 2016, about 45,7% of Namibians in both rural and urban areas do not have access to toilets.
      Meanwhile, ombudsman Basilius Dyakugha says Namibia is lacking behind in the provision of sanitation.
      “There is no doubt that Namibia is the driest country in the Southern African Development Community, therefore fresh, let alone drinking water is very scarce for many communities – especially in rural areas.
      “Water and sanitation are areas in which Namibia has made slow progress – particularly in rural areas. As a human rights office we call upon the government and other stakeholders to do more to provide potable water to the community in remote areas, so that by 2030 every Namibian would have access to clean water,” he says.
      Minister of urban and rural development Erastus Uutoni yesterday said he needs more time to assess the statistics on progress made by the country in providing sanitation.
      “It was observed that no toilet facilities were common in rural areas at 70%, while private and shared toilets were common in urban areas, constituting 63,2%. At regional level, the Kavango West and Zambezi regions had the highest proportion of no toilet facilities, with 85,5% and 82,1%, respectively,” the survey said in part.

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