Namibia is a country with great contrast, and the difference between the poor and the rich is one of the biggest in the world. We went to visit Katutura, the poorest part of Windhoek.
This is where many of the beneficiaries to the Mount Sinai Centre is living. We went together with Panduleni and Christa, because this part of the town can be unsafe to just wander around in. We got a lot of attention when we came in the pickup with a bunch of white people on the back.
The houses in most part of Katatura is sheds built of metal roofplates and whatever other materials people get their hands on. There is no power, sanitary sewage or electricity or water supply network here. Water is only available from community water points. To get water from these stations people need to buy a chip with credits. Whenever this chip has no more credit they need to refill it, but for the people living here this can be to expensive.
There lives about 20 000 people like this in Katutura. Most are unemployed, while some have different jobs in the city. Much of the crime in Windhoek can be explained by the temptation those who has nothing face when they come in to other parts of town. To protect many of their belongings they store them on the roof. It’s pretty hard to steal something from the top of a tin roof without waking up the people who lives inside.
The people in Katutura were friendly. White people are rare to see in this part of town, and most of them want us to see. The only way things can get better is by letting people know about the poverty here. Although they have very little, the people seems very happy. This should remind us about how happiness does not come from material things.
The visit has made a lasting impression on everyone of us. It is very different experience to see, feel, smell and talk to the people in real life, than to watch it on TV.