Blaze Destroys Twenty Shacks

The urgent need for proper housing was again highlighted when 20 shacks were gutted by fire on Tuesday evening in Kuisebmond, Walvis Bay. It was the second fire at the town within three days.

On Sunday night also in Kuisebmond 18 shacks burnt down, which left close to 40 people homeless and one person dead, the 49-year-old Laimi Iyambo.

Overall the two fires have left more than 100 people homeless and at the mercy of good Samaritans to help them with shelter and sustenance. The financial losses are said to be in tens of thousands of dollars.

Yesterday the Erongo Regional Urban Constituency councillor, Hafeni Ndemula, donated tents as temporary shelter for the victims, while various organisations and residents donated food and clothing.

The Round Table charity organization at Walvis Bay as well as the town mayor, Uilika Nambahu, assisted the victims with food that were distributed from the fire brigade premises in Kuisebmond.

Chief of the fire brigade, Willie van Zyl, yesterday told New Era that Tuesday’s fire was caused by a short circuit in one of the shacks. He said the fire spread rapidly to adjacent shacks.

Van Zyl said shack fires are indeed a concern especially during winter in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. He urged residents to be extra cautious when using candles, paraffin stoves and other flammable materials that usually ignite shack fires.

When New Era visited the scene yesterday morning burnt household goods lay scattered around the yards, while some victims were busy cleaning up the charred remains of their destroyed homes.

The deeply unhappy residents said they lost clothes, identity documents and money. But one of the victims said luckily no lives were lost.

Source : New Era