Disasters trap poor in a vicious circle of poverty
• By Tracy Tafirenyika
WITH an estimated one million people living in shacks in Namibia, most of them are currently surviving on illegal connections to electricity risking their lives and responsible for more than 300 fire shacks every year, the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia says.
In addition to loss of life and livelihoods through fires caused by unathorised set ups, the City of Windhoek alone loses an estimated N$10 million annually through illegal connections, tampering and pilfering of electricity by residents.
“After a pylon and overhead line carrying about 88 kilovolts of electricity fell on my shack two years ago during rainy season, l realised that using illegal connection of electricity can actually destroy me and my children unknowingly and from that day l stopped using the electricity because l started living in fear for myself and my children,” Josephina Shilongo who resides in the Windhoek settlement of 7de Laan, Otjomuise told Confidente.
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