Geingob deeply touched by Twaloloka tragedy

31 July 2020 | Disasters

President Geingob admitted that the devastating fire that claimed the life of a toddler, left one resident hospitalized with severe burns and over 350 people homeless and vulnerable, has hit him where it hurts most.

“What happened at Twaloloka is something that affects the human conscience. The nation witnessed in shock and disbelief the spread of a fire that eventually destroyed 153 dwellings at the informal settlement in Walvis Bay. A community that was already among the worst affected by the pandemic, grappling with unspeakable loss and pain,” the president said.

Geingob condemned individuals who he said had tried to capitalize on the incident to score political points, saying that prior to the fire at the settlement on 26 July and pursuant to a directive he issued on 6 July 2020, government commenced with the implementation of the Informal Settlement Decongestion Strategy.

“Erongo governor Neville Andre and the regional leadership were in the process of identifying suitable venues and facilities to relocate residents from densely populated informal settlements in Walvis Bay, in a broader effort to mitigate the spread of the virus among the community.”

Since the disaster occurred, government has availed financial resources from the National Emergency Disaster Fund to temporarily re-block Twaloloka and relocate half of the inhabitants to a different location in the aftermath of the fire.

The National Housing Enterprise also availed land to the Walvis Bay Council for this purpose.

“Building materials will be purchased by government for the affected residents to accelerate the process of relocation. Government together with the Red Cross, provided relief assistance through the provision of 108 tents, 350 mattresses and blankets, kitchen sets, meat and food essentials,” Geingbo said.

The above mentioned contributions have been augmented by donations made by private and corporate citizens from across the country.

“It is indeed in times of crisis that true character is revealed. I have been heartened by the benevolence, solidarity and spirit of unity at work. We have seen true humanitarians and patriots emerge. The affected residents continue to face shortages and I encourage those who have the means to render support, to do so through the office of the Prime Minister.”