Hunger forces teen to sell scrap metal

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by Matheus Hamutenya

Maltahöhe

Poverty, hunger and other hardships have forced 13-year-old Sanna !Goases to do almost anything to help put bread on the table of her family.

The shy little girl narrated her hardships to New Era. She said conditions at home are very severe for her and her three siblings as her mother is single and unemployed. She thus decided to help her struggling mother in any way possible.On Tuesday when New Era spoke to Sanna she had just finished collecting some scrap metal hoping to sell them to any willing buyer. Asked why she was selling the metal she replied: “There is no mealie meal at home.”

She said her father does not support her and she has not seen him in ages.

Having no real relationship with her father, the only thing she knows about him is that he stays in Karasburg. “I don’t know what he does, I haven’t seen him in a long time,” she said emotionally.

Another scrap metal seller, Amalia Boois, an unemployed mother of three, said that many people at the village have no choice but to collect the scrap metal to sell even though they don’t get much for their efforts.

She said the current price is 30 cents per kilogramme, which is very little considering all the labour  they put into collecting the scrap.

“Yesterday I sold some but only got N$9, now what can I do with that? I can’t even buy mealie meal,” she said.

Boois added that many unemployed parents at the village also struggle to feed their families and thus have no choice but to try and get the little they can “by any means”.

She said the selling price is very disappointing as many people who collect a lot of metal sometimes in the end only get N$5.

“Look at her, she sold and only got N$2.50 from her sales yesterday but it’s better because there is nothing else to do,” she said, pointing at her friend.

With the current price it means collecting 10 kilogrammes of scrap metal will only fetch N$3 and 50 kilogrammes of scrap will earn a seller N$15.

The community members complained that lack of employment opportunities has left many in the community living in very harsh conditions.

A variety of metals are collected for sale by the villagers ranging from old corrugated-iron sheets, car parts, empty beef tins, old pots and others.

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