Makaravan San communities refuse relocation

KATIMA MULILO: Marginalised Communities’ Deputy Minister, Royal /Ui/o/oo has urged a group of San individuals living in Katima Mulilo’s Makaravan informal settlement to relocate and have access to Government support.

On Tuesday, /Ui/o/oo pleaded with some of the San people to relocate and join their fellow tribesmen at Wayawaya settlement in the Sibbinda Constituency, if they wish to be uplifted and integrated into the economic mainstream of the country as part of Government’s agenda.

The San families living at the informal settlement, refused to relocate to Wayawaya in 2012 and as a result, have been living in impoverished conditions, with no access to proper sanitation, accommodation and food.

The group lives off scavenging daily at the Katima Mulilo dump site.

“Makaravan informal settlement is not home. This area is surrounded by shebeens. If you relocate to Wayawaya, Government is able to assist you by setting up community garden projects, kindergartens, livestock farming and agricultural implements to cultivate and harvest crops,” said /Ui/o/oo.

At the outdoor meeting with the San group, the Director of Marginalised Communities, Gerson Kamatuka, said his office is there to promote their rights to access land, justice, education, health and employment opportunities.

/Ui/o/oo’s pleas for the group to relocate was however met with displeasure as some said they wish to stay at that informal settlement because it is close to the town centre, where they can access temporary jobs and live from sympathisers.

The group said they do not wish to relocate to Wayawaya as it is situated in the bush and has no running water, and further demanded that Government build them a school at the informal settlement, including being given priority to access civil service jobs such as cleaners and drivers.

The group also highlighted that Government houses built for them at Wayawaya, have no doors and that there is no running projects at the area.

“Why can we not be treated like all other tribes living in Katima Mulilo? Why must we be pushed to live in the bushes? We are staying in this informal settlement as we are looking for work in town. Government can equally assist us while we live here,” they said.

Kamatuka told that an office dealing with their plights and needs would soon be built at Wayawaya, saying it is there where they should seek assistance and information on how Government can assist them.

“I urge you to knock on the doors of the development planner tasked to handle all your needs. This is the office that will assist on how to go about registering for school, projects, jobs and other Government initiatives set in place for marginalised communities,” said Kamatuka.