Kamanjab Constituency Councillor Engenesia Tjaritje-Esingue has revealed that residents from the village have to travel hundreds of kilometers to obtain birth and death certificates.
“The offices (of the Ministry of Home Affairs) closed recently and the staff member is now working in Oshakati. It’s disappointing, as they were given space years ago and no official correspondence was made to us, although I was alerted about the closure at a workshop while in Windhoek,” Tjaritje-Esingue said.
Residents of Kamanjab and surrounding rural communities have to travel to Khorixas, about 105 kilometers away, Outjo 165 kilometers away or Opuwo, 265 kilometers away to get services after the closure of Kamanjab Home Affairs sub-office.
Some people work on commercial farms and lodges and might get fired from work for not arriving at work on time, as they often struggle to get a lift from other towns to their workplace,” according to Tjaritje-Esingue.
“We understand the offices are closed due to budget cuts, but taking an office from a place like Kamanjab – which is already hit by unemployment – is troublesome and we are unhappy. They should have thought twice about the closure,” Tjaritje-Esingue remarked.
She said there was a high demand for home affairs services and its office was always full. Tjaritje-Esingue said residents now have to travel long distances to other towns. They have to pay for transport to get basic services and also have to pay for accommodation in those towns.
“People are unemployed – most of them – and even though they get a lift to other towns, accommodation might be a challenge to some, as one can arrive there on the day the services are not given,” said the constituency councillor.
Tjaritje-Esingue suggested the private sector must come on board to assist. “We have commercial farms and lodges in our area, so they must assist the government with transport that at least mobile services can be offered to rural communities in case the private sector does not assist financially.”
She said she plans to visit the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration offices to discuss the closure of the Kamanjab sub-office. The Kamanjab constituency councilor said the closure of the Home Affairs and Immigration sub-office is also an obstacle to the village’s plan to become a town.