Police worried over spate of suicides

• BY MARX ITAMALO

Police in the northern part of the country is gravely worried by the spate of suicides plaguing the north as many young people continue taking their own lives something which the police attributes to the many social problems that beset the local population.

According to statistics provided to Confidente from the Ohangwena and Omusati regions alone, a total number of 13 people took their lives in January this year.

Ohangwena is leading the pack with eight suicide cases reported in January whilst Omusati recorded five cases.

Last weekend three young people took their own lives in Omusati alone. On Saturday, Andreas Nghidinihamba Shikulo (27), hanged himself in his grandmother’s sleeping room commonly known as ‘ondjuwo’.

Reports indicate that he had lunch at his home at Ohamuti village in Etayi constituency with other people at around 13h00 and later went to his grandmother’s house where he committed suicide two hours later.

On the same day, suicide claimed the life of Sam Ndeshipanda Uunona (26), who also hanged himself in his sleeping room at Omalyadhila village in Onesi constituency at 23h20. He had arrived in the house a few hours before and his body was discovered by a cousin.

The Omusati police also reports that Wilbard Linekela Ipinge (39), also hanged himself on Sunday in his home at Okathakonghala village in Onesi constituency. The incident occurred at 07h30.

None of the victims left a suicide note and police suspects no foul play in these deaths. Their bodies were respectively taken to the police morgue at Okahao police station.

Commenting on the situation, Omusati police spokeswoman Inspector Anna Kunga expressed shock at the increasing number of suicides in her region.

“I want you, (media) to help us put the message across. People should always seek professional help when they are having problems. Suicide is not the solution. They can visit pastors, traditional leaders and they can even come to us so that we can give them a path to go seek help,” she said.

Her counterpart in Ohangwena Inspector Abner Kaume Itumba shared similar sentiments.

“It’s difficult to put yourself in the shoes of a deceased somebody because you do not know what they were going through but people should always know that there is hope. They cannot always turn to suicide when they have problems. Looking for help can always help,” he stressed.

Itumba told Confidente that Enyana village in Okongo district in Ohangwena recorded 15 suicides in two years.

“This is grim news if you think deeply about it,” he noted whilst indicated that in many cases the preferred method of suicide is hanging while in isolated cases guns are used.

Both Kunga and Itumba said unemployment, poverty, job losses and romantic relationship problems are among a plethora of social issues driving people to suicide.

Although this publication could not obtain the statistics in Oshana and Oshikoto, several trusted police sources in the two regions indicate the situation is not any way different.