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Other Articles from The Villager

Over 800 'Koevoet' using one toilet in Katutura

by Rodney Pienaar

Over 800 members of SWAVET also known as Koevoet are lodged without potable water behind the Commando community hall in Katutura Windhoek.

They are also forced to share one toilet among themselves, but are adamant on living there until the state hears their plea. 

The group is demanding to be acknowledged by the state as war veterans, saying that they are facing tough a time since they arrived in Windhoek some two and half years ago. 

According to the chairperson of the group Andreas Kandji, the living conditions have only gone from bad to worse. 

“We do not have water nor do we have proper toilet facilities. This toilet that was set up is used by all of us that are here. We came here years ago and we are struggling to survive. Sometimes members go to beg for food in the streets because we are not from Windhoek and just came here to be recognised as war veterans,” he fumed. 

He added that they should be treated as human beings and are tired of living in unfavorable conditions. Kandji has said that with the current rains, they fear that their temporary structures will be damaged.

One of the members of the group that identified herself only as Maria said that it is hard living in such conditions for a mother of two young children.

“I do not get to eat much because I do not have any income. My daughters are now only bone and flesh due to lack of food. I do not see why the government can not help us out and register us as war veterans, that is all we are here for. I am not happy at all because I have to struggle for God's water every day. I need water as a human in order to survive. My only plea is that the government hears our call because all my livestock have perished during the recent drought. There is no way I can work for anyone because I am old,” she said. 

Another 80 year old man who identified himself as Haimbirie Kavaretji said that he is concerned about the health of the group members.

“We are getting cold at night and once it rains we suffer a lot due to poor temporary structures we have put up. We are using only one toilet that has been set up for us and most of the time it is out of order. We are afraid of the disease that is now in Windhoek caused by untidiness. I am afraid our group members might pick up the disease because there is no clean water here,” he said. 

He added that the members of the group prefer to use bushes which are far from where they stay when nature calls.