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Escape routes open

Escape routes open

Niël Terblanché

PEOPLE are still able to leave the local authority areas of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis with impunity while a special dispensation is in place under the State of Emergency.


During the latest briefing of the Erongo, Regional Governor, Neville Andre, one of the commanders of the security cluster in the Erongo Region, expressed concern about people constantly escaping from the various districts to travel to other parts of the country.


Captain Appolus Haimbala said people are using the secondary road between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund that runs behind the dune belt to escape.


leave Walvis Bay Swakopmund Arandis impunity special dispensation thee Local Authority Area
LAID OUT: A map indicates what routes people follow to leave the Local Authority Areas of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Arandis.


He indicated that from the dune road, people using the road leading to the Langer Heinrich Mine are able to drive on the gravel road towards Windhoek and Karibib from where they can travel to any place in Namibia without going through another checkpoint.


By travelling further down the dune road, people are able to reach the C14 gravel road that gives them access to the either the Spreetshoogte or Gamsberg passes or southern Namibia.


People also use the gravel roads that runs north from Swakopmund to sidestep the checkpoint on the road leading to Henties Bay from where they travel via Uis to Khorixas and then further north.


The security forces in the Erongo Region have expressed concerns over a possible increase in public escapes from and entry into the restricted area of Walvis Bay with the use of the C14 gravel road.


Captain Haimbala said people that leave the Local Authority Areas under the special dispensation by using back roads defeats efforts by the government and other role players to contain the spread of COVID-19.


“We want to discourage the public from leaving the Erongo Region and especially the Local Authority Areas of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arnadis unnecessarily. The containment of the virus should be a joint effort by all residents,” he said.


The commander of the Namibian Police’s Community Affairs Division in the Erongo Region, Inspector Ileni Shapumba, said that permits to leave the local authority areas will only be issued to people for humanitarian purposes.


“We should not blame the government or the people but blame the virus. People have to understand that we need to control the situation and contain the virus,” he said.


The Namibian Police and the Namibian Defence Force, along with officials from the Namibia Correctional Services, are currently manning three checkpoints to keep people without permits from leaving the Local Authority Areas of Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis.


The first one is situated on the C14 on the outskirts of Walvis Bay where the entry and departure of heavy trucks are monitored. The second one is situated between Arandis and Usakos and the third was placed between Swakopmund and Henties Bay at Mile 11.


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