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Angola’s humanitarian drama exposed

Angola’s humanitarian drama exposed

Placido Hilukilwa

 

THE number of Angolans fleeing into Namibia due to severe drought in southern Angola is increasing daily, exposing a humanitarian catastrophe that is silently unfolding across Namibia’s northern border.

 

People started arriving a few weeks ago and the number is growing by the day.

 

They come mostly from drought-prone rural villages in the Curoca and Kahama administrative districts of the Cunene province.

 

Angola humanitarian exposed Angolans fleeing Namibia drought southern catastrophe Namibia northern border
WITHOUT FOOD: Some of the “drought refugees” at Etunda. Photo: Contributed.

 

And they have really distressing stories to tell: a number of children died en route and elderly people and the weak were simply left behind because they would not make the perilous 100-km journey to Namibia.

 

Humanitarian relief organizations have so far ignored the situation and the Angolan Government is only now starting to pay attention, delivering humanitarian assistance that is both late and insufficient.

 

The situation has also now attracted the attention of the Angolan ambassador to Namibia, Jovelina Imperial Costa, who on Monday visited the Angolans who are currently congregating on the border at and near Oshikango in the Ohangwena Region.

 

On Tuesday she visited about 450 “drought refugees” who are currently at Etunda in the Omusati Region.

 

They sleep under trees and have no food whatsoever, relying solely on the little food provided by Good Samaritans and by doing odd jobs for food.

 

At Oshikango, the Angolan ambassador was accompanied by Ohangwena Regional governor Walde Ndevashiya, while at Etunda she was joined by Omusati Region Governor Erginus Endjala.

 

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