Namibia: 200 Border Officials Live in Squalor

Leaking drains, broken toilets and green, smelly sewage water. These are the conditions officials at the Omahenene border post live in.

The officials work for the ministries of agriculture, finance, health, police and immigration while some work for Amta and the Namibia Agronomic Board.

They all live in the Omahenene border post accommodation the government built, and they were accommodated there in 2013.

However, the officials told The Namibian this week that they have been living in deplorable conditions for three years.

According to them, they have now stopped using showers and toilets in their houses because they are flooded with the sewage.

“We run to nearby bushes when nature calls,” the officials said.

The Namibian also saw makeshift showers which the officials now use, as the showers in their houses are dysfunctional.

When The Namibian visited the place this week, green-blackish sewage discharge could be seen flowing in a narrow trench from a drain into a nearby hole.

Goats drank this water, while pigs played in it.

Now, some officials have been forced to leave their houses because of the stench, and they have built shacks or erected tents.

Those who are still staying in the houses say their toilets do not flush away waste anymore. They described the situation as a ticking time bomb for hepatitis E.

“We are running out of patience,” the officials said.

They said they have reported the matter to the ministry of works, but their plight has been ignored.

They alleged that members of a parliamentary standing committee visited the place twice, and they informed them about their situation, but nothing has been done.

“Officials from the Office of the President also came here in September this year. They promised to attend to the matter, but until now nothing has been done. Perhaps that promise was made to canvass votes,” the officials said.

They thanked the government for building “good accommodation” for them, but they say it should be maintained.

Contacted for comment, Omusati chief regional officer Gervasius Kashindi said the regional council has reported the matter to the ministry of works, which is responsible for maintenance.

He said the problem has been like that for years but the regional council cannot do anything since it is not the custodian of the buildings.

He also said the place is conducive to the spread of Covid-19.

Works and transport ministry’s spokesperson Julius Ngweda said the ministry was not aware of the situation at Omahenene border post.

“We will follow up on the matter. We also want to know where this report was sent to and why we have not done anything for four years.

Omahenene border post is port at the border between Namibia and Angola in Onesi constituency.

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