ONGWEDIVA- Living on N$ 1 250 a month, or N$ 40 a day is a major challenge for pensioners who are unable to find affordable accommodation on such a limited budget.
The constitution says everyone has the right to adequate housing and proper shelter.
Special needs housing is state-subsidised accommodation aimed at the most vulnerable groups in society such as orphans, disabled people, and victims of domestic abuse, the homeless and the elderly.
The reality, however, is that the provision of affordable housing for these groups – including social pensioners, people on the state’s older persons grant – has fallen through the cracks. This was revealed by one of elderly in Ongwediva Pashukeni Shoombe during an early Christmas lunch hosted for them in the town. They called on the Ongwediva Town Council and the Ministry of Poverty Eradication and Social Welfare to construct them an Old Home Shelter in the town. This followed after they complained of being neglected by their loved ones and left with no one to take care of them. “We want an elderly home in Ongwediva just like other towns in order to call our own. We don’t want to be alone in our old age,” said Shoombe. Ongwediva Town Council spokesperson Jackson Muma, said Old age home is by nature supposed to be a social responsibility for both public and private sector. “The idea has been with the Council. However, it is on hold pending the sustainable model of running the old – age home,” said Muma
He added that at the moment, it’s not part of Ongwediva Town Council strategic plan 2018 – 2023, but it’s something that can be considered in future once Council has done due diligence.
Approached for comment, Ministry spokesperson Lot Ndamanomhata said that they don’t build Old Age Homes, as it’s not in their mandate to build elderly homes.
“We provide for the admission of social grants, but we don’t build Old Age Homes,” stated Ndamanomhata.