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Homeless feeling the brunt of the cold

Homeless feeling the brunt of the cold

Marthina Mutanga

HOMELESS people were affected the worst by the freezing weather that swept in with a huge cold front over the past two days because they simply cannot afford to keep warm while confined to tents during the State of Emergency.


The 45-year-old Cornelius Syster, who is staying at Khomasdal stadium because of the advent of the coronavirus said the tent they are sleeping in, freezes during the night and that water drips from the roof while he does not have enough blankets to cover up.
“We can’t sleep peaceful because we have to wake up and dress up with all our clothes or make a fire outside to keep warm,” said Syster.


Adolf Gariseb, who also stays at the corona camp said they need donations from people who can help with old winter clothes and old blankets to assist because they are dying of cold.



Gariseb noted the temperature is beginning to drop and they are thankful they are sleeping in tents this year. He said the places where they have been sleeping in previous years does not give them the same amount of protection he said sleeping rough in river beds and under old buildings is very difficult because he normally only has one blanket to cover up.


According to Gariseb, the police keeping guard at the camp know all of the people inside and they cannot slip away to town and to hustle for money. He said they are always sent back to the camp.


A social worker at the centre, Zinzi Damens said that the homeless people are in need of warm blankets because of the cold weather.


Since lockdown measures were implemented the Government has accommodated nearly 300 homeless people at the Katutura Youth Complex and Khomasdal Soccer Stadium.


Tents have been erected at the Khomasdal Soccer Field with a maximum of ten people able to sleep in the bigger tents while only two people are able to sleep in the smaller tents to avoid overcrowding.


The camp residents will have to huddle down for another night of cold winds as the chief weather forecaster of the Namibia Meteorological Service, Odillo Kgobetsi, confirmed that very cold weather conditions accompanied by frost are expected to continue over most parts of Namibia especially the central and southern regions. Kgobetsi said only the extreme northeast of the country will be slightly warmer.


“Maximum temperatures on Friday will only get up to between 12 and 17 degrees Celsius over the central, southern and eastern parts of the country,” he said.


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