The Special Advisor to the Governor of Kunene region, Katuutire Kaura, says that old age homes in the various regions are “absolutely necessary considering that times are changing”.
Speaking telephonically to New Era from the Kunene region yesterday, Kaura said many elderly people had moved from villages to Opuwo where they set up makeshift structures.
Old age homes are mainly found in towns in Namibia, but the Parliamentary Standing Committee on gender equality, social development and family affairs is on a fact finding mission to determine whether there is a need to build old age homes in the regions.
The mission also aims to gather information on the living conditions and needs of elderly people in the country.
“Old age homes are an absolute necessity here in Opuwo because the time when children looked after their parents is gone,” Kaura said.
He said some elderly people felt so deserted and vulnerable that they could not do anything for themselves.
“So if they can have a place where they can be provided with meals that would be great,” Kaura said and explained that change is unstoppable and “absolutely necessary”.
The long-time politician and former parliamentarian related that some of these pensioners had to travel long distances to collect their pension money in Opuwo and had to pay for their transport to and from their villages.
“Some of them are putting up shacks here in Opuwo close to the post office where they collect their monthly pension cheques,” Kaura added.
The drought has also affected many people in Kunene region, including pensioners who only have their pension money to look forward to for their survival.
“The drought situation is slightly better this year compared to last year, but people are left with nothing. The senior citizens here survive on pension money and drought relief food,” Kaura noted.
He further explained that drought relief food only reached the far villages every two months because of logistical problems.