Namibia: Fire Destroys 25 Shacks

FIRE suspected to have been caused by faulty electric cables and fuelled by a strong east wind resulted in the destruction of 25 shacks at Swakopmund's Mondesa and DRC townships over the weekend.

According to regional crime investigations coordinator for Erongo, deputy commissioner Ottilie Kashuupulwa, 22 backyard shacks were destroyed in Mondesa on Friday morning. No injuries or fatalities were recorded.

"We are not suspecting arson, but illegal electricity connections which went faulty," she told The Namibian.

One of the major problems in municipal areas is that the occupants of the shacks built in backyards use poor-quality connections to 'steal' electricity from the main houses.

Municipal officials have suggested in the past that an electrical contractor be appointed to inspect such connections to at least save lives and personal belongings. This, however, does not mean that such illegal connections have been approved.

On Saturday night, three more shacks were destroyed in the DRC informal settlement. According to Kashuupulwa, this may have been due to a controlled flame from a candle or open fire which went out of control due to the strong east winds.

"We are still investigating all these incidents," she noted.

Also on Friday, a 44-year-old man died after drowning in the ocean between the Swakopmund Jetty and Mole Beach.

It is alleged that Ileni Nikanor went into the water on Friday at about noon, and drowned. Kashuupulwa could, however, not confirm reports of a possible suicide.

Members of the Sea Rescue Institute of Namibia pulled the body out of the water, and paramedics and two doctors on vacation from Germany tried unsuccessfully for 40 minutes to resuscitate Nikanor.

Source: The Namibian