Homeless in winter
A family is now left homeless after the City of Windhoek forced residents to remove shacks that were built under the high voltage power lines in Okahandja Park last week Wednesday.
Unemployed Elizabeth Anton, 28, her boyfriend, who is a security guard, and their 9-month-old baby boy are temporarily sleeping under a tree in a relative’s yard following the bulldozing of their shacks by the City of Windhoek.
Anton was among the families who had illegaly settled under the power lines and had to remove their shacks last week because the area was considered dangerous for human habitation. Anton was renting in the Okahandja informal settlement and could not go back because the landlord had found another tenant.
The relative cannot accommodate them permanently either as the yard is already full with tenants occupying the little space available.
“When the sun sets, I put a lot of jerseys on my baby because it gets cold during the evening and we don’t have enough blankets to keep us warm,” said Anton.
She prepares food on an open fire outside not far from where they sleep.
When Namibian Sun visited her, all shacks in the yard where locked and she had to spend the day in the sun with her baby.
Anton, like all those who settled on the land under the power line, wants a roof over the heads of her own, her infant son and boyfriend. They complain that landlords are over-charging them on rent, and with the meagre income at their disposal, they are struggling to make ends meet.
The Senior Superintended of the City Police and Emergency Department, Gerry Shikesho, told Namibian Sun yesterday that they had confiscated seven shack structures and are waiting for the owners to come claim their property. Last he told this newspaper that N$500 would be charged each individual upon collecting their confiscated items.
He said there are still structures left on the site and City authorities have given the owners a seven-days notice to move. “We will give them till Wednesday or Thursday to move”.
Since January this year the City has put up security guards in informal settlement to guard the land against illegal settlers.