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By: Valeria Handobe

A 50-year-old single mother, Prescilla Kandovazu, says that she is struggling to feed her family, noting that they have not had a proper meal in nearly a week. Kandovazu, a mother of four, who is also raising two grandchildren, has been unemployed for almost seven years after losing her job at a local restaurant.

During an interview with NewsonOne at her home in Havana informal settlement, Kandovazu stated that if she does not go out to do menial jobs such as washing and ironing people’s clothes, they would go hungry for days.

Kandovazu, who relied on the Food Bank Programme, claims that it has been five years since she benefited from the programme.

“I’m unemployed and have children who attend school. There is no food at home, and we haven’t eaten since Sunday. My children go to school on an empty stomach. At least today, my neighbour gave me maize meal to prepare porridge for my children. I had ‘harambee’, and they had taken me off for five years without explanation,” stated Kandovazu

Kandovazu further disclosed that she is a healthy person who cannot continue to rely on others to provide her with food, thus, she is imploring anyone who can provide her with a job or other assistance to step forward during this difficult time.

Kandovazu stated that she does her best to provide for her children, particularly those who are still in school, but it can be tough at times because her older children are also unemployed and rely on her for support.

She expressed concern that her unemployment status will lead her children to the streets and that social problems such as drugs and alcohol will become their livelihood.

A member of Namibia’s Basic Income Grant Coalition Rinaani Musutua stated that Kandovazu’s case is not isolated and that about 64% percent of Namibians are facing hunger daily. 

“We can not really at this stage keep on saying that there is not enough money for a basic income grant that could have helped people at least not to struggle on empty stomachs. There is definitely enough resources in this country for a basic income of N$500 per month, per person for all Namibians aged 0-59. We can’t keep on bailing state-owned enterprises that are supposed to make profit for the government who are not delivering what they are supposed to, and we are only bailing them out so that those employees can keep their fat cheques, which is really unfair,” stated Musutua.

Of the six children in Kandovazu’s home, two are from her late daughter, who was murdered by the father of the children in 2011. In addition, three of the children in the household are attending school.

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