TSINTSABIS – Headman Geelbooi Thameb of Tsintsabis is appealing to the government to facilitate development programmes in the area, saying the absence of development activities is pushing people to turn to alcohol.
The area has no shops, not even a small general dealer that sells conveniences, but there are many drinking holes that sell the potent traditional home-brewed drink known as tombo. “Since independence the only form of development we have seen is the police station and the tarred road. But there are drinking joints on almost every corner. This is not helping the situation, since the community is turning into one of drunkards,” said Thameb. According to Alfons Aseb the headman’s advisor the lack of conventional shops and the abundance of tombo joints compounds the problem.
“The elderly in the community are becoming drunkards, because of the countless and alluring tombo outlets, he said. “Tombo is too affordable and sold for as little as N$1 per jug and the grown-ups are buying it on credit and when they receive money at the end of the month they pay off the debt and the vicious cycle starts all over again,” Aseb said. “Most of the households depend on boreholes for water, because there are no taps. We need more schools in the area or more classrooms.
Some children have to walk 3 kilometres to get to school and as a result most drop out and stay at home. The closest primary school is situated 30 kilometres from Tsintsabis. Also, most parents in the area are old fashioned and believe in staying with their children at home, which means sending them to a hostels is not an option,” explained Thameb.
Members of the community agree that the headman’s concerns are valid and point to the only school in the area, the Tsintsabis Junior Secondary School as evidence. The headman and his advisor also pointed out the need for housing in the area, because most of the area is comprised of traditional homes and a few shacks, since people cannot even afford the corrugated iron roofs to build more shacks. “There are so many areas that need improvement in Tsintsabis, otherwise nothing here can attract people to come and stay or settle in this area. The elderly have to pay N$50 every month to get to Tsumeb to buy food and clothes, because there are no shops in our community, unless they wish to buy tombo which is readily available,” added Thameb.
By John Travolter Matali