A week after their shacks were destroyed by strong winds and rain, many affected residents of Havana are still struggling to rebuild their houses.
Right Reverend Festus Ngavonduezu of the St Noah Faith Healing church in Havana’s Mbahahiza Kavikuua branch said yesterday that activities at the church had to stop as the churchm which was constructed of corrugated zinc was one of the more than 40 structures in that area that were destroyed by strong winds and rain last week Monday. The winds were so strong that some trees were uprooted.
“Many activities have been halted because most shacks were destroyed, including the church. We are unable to hold church services and other charity activities because the church building and everything in it was destroyed,” Ngavonduezu said.
The church has at least 65 members and helps community members with charitable services, such as soup kitchens, Ngavonduezu said.
“We stopped helping our community members, especially the youth”, due to the current state of affairs. “The church’s activities are mainly aimed at assisting the youth by keeping them away from shebeens,” he said.
Neighbours and friends in Havana are helping each other by sharing shacks, he further said. “We don’t have roofs on top of our heads anymore and that has affected our standard of living. People can’t even sit in their shacks, as they are struggling to rebuild them. Most of the building materials were destroyed in the process,” he said.
Another affected resident, Judia Tjituaiza, said she had moved into her children’s shack: “I don’t know where I will get money to rebuild my shack. I am unemployed and depend on a disability grant as I cannot see properly. I am wondering how we will survive. Everything we had went with the wind and the rain. During the process some people took advantage of the situation and helped themselves to other people’s belongings.”
“I’m sleeping in a tent that I borrowed,” added Imelda Uazengisa, a neghbour whose house was also destroyed.
Asked about the heat that has had many people complaining and praying for more rain, Tjituaiza said: “You can see the situation for yourself. It is so hot and there are no trees. Life at the village is better, because people can at least sit under the trees. Now here our shacks are destroyed and there are no trees, so we are just getting by, hoping to survive the heat”.
Ngavonduezu also said that they are feeling the scorching heat. Unlike, some of his neighbours who sleep outside, Ngavonduezu and his family are renting a neighbour’s shack for N$500.
“At least we have a roof over our heads, but we have not really escaped the heat. It is so hot that people are scrambling for the few available trees,” he said.
The constituency office of Moses Garoeb on Friday assisted some affected residents with two bags of maize and two tins of fish per household and provided some matrasses for destitute people.