New Era (Windhoek)

4 December 2012

Namibia: Assist Rundu Elderly - Youth Volunteers

Rundu — A youth volunteer group has called on government to consider establishing an old-age home for the growing number of destitute senior citizens at the town, who even sleep under trees and makeshift shelters made of cardboard and plastic refuse bags.

Many of these elderly have no known relatives to help them. "There are elderly people who have reached their threshold in terms of productivity, therefore they are not able to work for themselves or walk long distances in search of food," states the report that the volunteer youth group sent to the Governor of the Kavango Region, Maurus Nekaro, last week.

The group has recommended that the regional government make available land on which to build a shelter for the elderly. Members of the youth group currently provide the elderly with meals and other basic necessities. Many of the elderly do not have national identification documents to qualify for the state social grant.

To compound matters there are people who steal the food donated to the elderly, rendering useless the assistance programme of the youth.

In the report, the group states there are currently six elderly people in dire need of assistance. These are mainly Angolans by birth, who moved to Namibia before independence and Namibians who migrated from the rural areas to Rundu years ago.

The group also wants to be given drought relief so that they can prepare regular meals for the elderly who are too fragile to cook for themselves.

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