Bridge Dwellers Cry for Help

A group of destitute and homeless people that live in rudimentary, cardboard shacks under the bridge opposite Wernhill have made an impassioned appeal to the public to help them with food, clothing and blankets.

The group of homeless people resident under a bridge on Dr Frans Indongo road in downtown Windhoek, includes two people recently released from the Windhoek Central Prison where they served jail sentences for shoplifting.

Speaking on behalf of the group a 53-year-old man, Gert Khom-beb pleaded to members of the public for food or clothing.

Those that are eager to assist can contact him on 081 2790 768. He added that they are faced with difficulties as marauding gangs steal their meager belonging and assault them at times.

Khom-beb stressed on incident that took place on Saturday night when another bridge dweller Hans Boes (43) was ambushed by gang members while he was asleep, luckily he escaped unhurt. This incident occurred when the rest of the group were searching for empties.

Seun Awaseb (30) suspects it is their former bridge dwellers who used to stay there, saying they were once involved in an alteration, though he declined to mention their names.

“I have never lived in anywhere other than the bridge, I only changed from the TransNamib railway line to here” said Khom-beb the 53-year-old.

He says has lived under the bridge in the CBD almost his entire life.

When asked how they make a living and if they have families, he responded saying they sell empty bottles and clothing hangers to two men who buys every Sunday and they earn as little as N$12 and N$50 if business was good, though bottles are also becoming scarce said Awaseb.

They make it through the week by putting together the little they get to buy food and eat as a family.

Awaseb reiterated they rarely take a bath it is only by chance because there is nowhere to get water unless they ask at the Roman Catholic Cathedral.

The arrival of two inmates released about two weeks ago arrested for shoplifting was described as a challenge because the current bridge dwellers felt they had to compete for space and other needs.

Surprisingly all the men living under the bridge are from Outjo.

They migrated to Windhoek years ago in search for employment, and because of their misfortune they found themselves living under the bridge.

Source : New Era