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COVID cemetery debacle resolved in principle

COVID cemetery debacle resolved in principle

Niël Terblanché

THE community of Narraville celebrated a major victory by establishing equity and a direct link between the regional government and the people of Walvis Bay in the future management of COVID-19 related issues.

 

On the same day as the registration of Namibia’s third COVID-19 related death, a community meeting at the Narraville rugby stadium, was cut short by members of the ad hoc committee that met with regional government representatives.

 

However vital information was shared by members of the special committee selected by the group of concerned resident to represent them in the meeting with, amongst others, the Erongo Regional Governor.

 

Paul Fischer, a retired school principal, warned residents that the ad hoc committee has been informed by representatives of the security cluster that the feedback meeting is in contravention of the social distancing and the gathering of large numbers of people regulations under the special dispensation of the State of Emergency.

 

 

Fisher, however, went ahead and informed the people gathered at the Narraville rugby stadium that the meeting that occurred earlier on Sunday between the ad hoc committee and the Regional Governor, Neville Andre, the Mayor of Walvis Bay, Alderman Immanuel Wilfried, representatives of the security cluster, and various representatives of the regional disaster management committee, that the cemetery will no longer be used for COVID-19 burials.

 

“We did not go as a political party but as a group of concerned citizens with a genuine concern not only for ourselves or other members of the community but also for the deceased that are afforded almost no dignity when buried at the new cemetery,” he said.

 

Fisher informed the group that their plight has been heard and that other concerns they raised with the regional governance structure with regards to the extremely negative effect of the continued lockdown of Walvis Bay on the community of the harbour town.

 

“Governor Andre and the representatives of the other pillars of the COVID-19 response structure have continued with their meeting to find an alternative site to bury people registered as COVID-19 deaths,” he said.

 

Members of the community were then requested to disperse to avoid being charged with contravening the regulations of the State of Emergency and fisher promised that the full list of resolutions reached by the meeting will be disseminated via social media groups.

 

The Debacle started when angry residents of Extension 7 of Narraville blocked the funeral procession of the second person registered as a COVID-19 death in the cemetery on Friday evening.

 

The group guarded the access road until Saturday morning when Governor Andre arrived to address them on the matter. Andre undertook to meet with the ad hoc committee on Sunday and that the matter will be resolved amicably.

 

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