25 February 2013

Namibia: 'Struggle Kids' Eat From Dump

Photo: IRIN
File photo of street children in Zambia.

AFTER another month of silence, the so-called 'children of the liberation struggle', also referred to as 'struggle kids,' have resurfaced again but this time they were spotted making a living from the Kupferberg dumpsite on the outskirts of Windhoek.

Some 15 members of the group, clad in Swapo colours, appealed to Prime Minister Hage Geingob and the government to keep their promise and speed up the process of finding jobs for them. They said the promise was made seven years ago.

Lukas Kandolo, spokesperson for the group, said they are uncertain where their next meal would come from and turning to the dump was their "only means of survival".

While getting food to eat was their main focus, some of them went there in search of things they can sell for cash.

The group pleaded for a positive response from the government.

Their leader, Naomi Nakwatumba, said swamping the dump site was nothing new to them.

"We usually come here to eat and afterwards we will find a place to sleep for the night," she said.

Nakwatumba said some of them have no support system, no jobs and are homeless.

"Most of us here have passed grade 10 and 12 but could not continue due to finances. Even if they force us to move, we have nowhere to go."

They said they do not want food from the government, but need jobs to make sure they do not keep eating from the dump.

More than 200 of them continue to live at the Ndilimani Cultural Group plot about 10 kilometres out of Windhoek.

The protesters were moved to the plot in July last year after their eviction from the Swapo Party headquarters where they had been camping.

Others camp outside the party premises in Windhoek while smaller groups also camp at regional offices in the North. The government last year introduced projects such as food-for-work and skills training, but the situation continued unabated after some of the youth refused to go for training and demanded jobs instead.

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