By Frederick Philander
Lack of coordinated support to San coffin manufacturing projects in the regions from certain regional councils is to be blamed for operational problems experienced by trainees.
This is the view of the Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Libertina Amathila, who spoke last week at another graduation ceremony for six San trainees from the Oshikoto and Kavango regions.
“My office has decided that under the San Development Programme we should really do something about the way our San people are being buried, like in plastic bags or left in mortuaries for long periods until families collect money to afford a funeral for them. Therefore, my office has contracted Polyflora Namibia to train the San trainees,” Amathila said.
This is the fourth group to have been trained for two months by the company.
“The idea is for companies to sponsor a region in which we find many San people residing, so that we as Namibians can at least give them a dignified burial. Today the Social Security Commission has joined us with a sponsorship of N$60 000 in a smart partnership to sponsor these trainees from Oshikoto and Kavango,” she said.
The idea is that after completion of the practical course in coffin making the trainees should return to their regions to start such businesses with the help of regional councils.
“The fifteen coffins that had been completed by the six trainees will be given to the two regional councils for distribution among the San communities, to those who cannot afford a coffin for their loved ones. I would like to urge the Kavango and Oshikoto regional councils to take up the challenges to show that that it can be done,” Amathila said.
According to her, the regional councils have to support the coffin makers for them to be able to make a living.
“It is very clear the government alone cannot alleviate poverty among our marginalized people. I therefore request other partners to join us in this noble cause, so that we can train more youths in coffin making from other regions as well,” the Deputy Prime Mi-nister concluded.