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Exodus from Erongo underway

Exodus from Erongo underway

Niël Terblanché

PEOPLE that were trapped in the three Local Authority Areas of Walvis Bay Swakopmund and Arandis for the duration of the lockdown finally started to make their way home in other parts of Namibia.


Hundreds of long-distance taxis that for the past few months were performing a courier service. Since the lockdown, many of the taxi operators opted to transport cargo instead of people to ensure an income during these difficult times.


Marshalls at the taxi rank in Walvis Bay said that people started arriving at the taxi rank as soon as they were allowed to leave their homes at 05:00.


Exodus Erongo underway trapped Local Authority Areas Walvis Bay Swakopmund Arandis lockdown
COMBINED SERVICE: Long distance taxi operators loaded hundreds of passengers and large amounts of goods for travel as the lockdown of the Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Arandis were finally lifted.


The marshals said the minibus taxis were loaded to the allowed capacity of 14 people or less when they left the coastal towns on Sunday morning.


One of the marshals said that the rush early in the morning was almost overwhelming.


“Since Friday the owners of the minibuses used as long-distance taxis refitted the passenger seats in the vehicles to again transport people. Because of the Stage 3 regulations not allowing us to load passengers to carrying capacity of the buses we are still transporting goods for people between the various towns to make up for the shortfall in income,” the marshals said.


The Namibian Police had to halt the exodus on Friday shortly after President Hage Geingob announced that the lockdown of the Local Authority Areas of Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, and Arandis will be lifted.


The prospective travellers did not realise that they would have to wait until Sunday morning for the curfew and the lockdown to lift before they would be able to travel.


The marshals said most of the passengers they loaded on Sunday morning returned to their traditional homes in the North.


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