A single mother of five faces eviction from her Hakahana home because she has been unable to pay an outstanding debt of N$27 000 that is due to the low-cost housing parastatal, National Housing Enterprise (NHE).
A final eviction notice, which Theresia Gaingos (39) received last week, indicated that she would be evicted today if she fails to settle the outstanding amount.
“Please take notice that you will be evicted by the Messenger of Court on December 6, by virtue of the warrant [of] ejectment obtained for outstanding debt as follows N$27 000. Please be present on the day of eviction to protect your property. In your absence, your house will be opened by force and all your property will be removed from the premises. We will [not] accept [responsibility] for any loss or damage to your property,” reads the letter.
The unemployed mother went to NHE office yesterday to explain her predicament and asked to be given until the end of this month to pay half of the outstanding amount and settle the rest as from January next year.
“Every night I cry. I ask God what I must do. I knew this day will come (eviction). I am not working and I don’t have money, remarked Gaingos from her home yesterday afternoon. She has been staying on the property since 1997 but officially became the owner 13 years ago. Over the years, Gaingos extended the house with corrugated iron sheets for more room.
“Where will I go with my children? I will appreciate it if someone can really help me keep my house. It’s not easy to go and stay at other people’s houses with your own children,” said the mother, as she shared her overwhelming ordeals, including sleeping on an empty stomach and her children skipping school because she does not have taxi money.
Showing this reporter a torn pair of shoes she is wearing, she says, “I don’t know when last my children got new clothes. They get clothes from my sister’s children. There are days and weeks we sleep without eating or drinking. It is also difficult to go out and ask for help.”
Gaingos says she was employed last year and managed to pay off some of the money she owed NHE but that was only until December when she went on maternity leave and did not return to work this year.
She recently got a two-day job as a domestic worker, where she earns N$600 per month – less than what she needs for the upkeep of her home.
“The outstanding amount was over N$30 000 but I managed to pay up to N$25 000 last year when I was employed,” she said.
Apart from the fear of losing her home of close to 20 years, Gaingos has been without water for the past six years and without electricitu for two years.
Gaingos and her children fetch water from a communal tap in a nearby informal settlement.