Desperate for a job

26 February 2020 | Local News

Three men from Divundu in the Kavango East Region who are desperate to secure employment say they are willing to accept any job to put bread on the table.

Hikera Muwara, Immanuel Kandundu and Mushongoro Kamonga shared their struggles with Ewi lyaNooli during a visit to Divundu, which is situated 200 kilometres east of Rundu.

The trio were sitting in an incomplete structure talking with one another.

The men were not shy to share their life stories, while stressing that life has turned out bitter for them and finding permanent employment is not easy.

Divundu, situated strategically along the Okavango River, has a number of well-established four- and five-star lodges that attract many tourists because of the beautiful scenery and boat rides.

It is also situated in close proximity to the Bwabwata National Park, which is a few kilometres away.

Apart from the public servants employed at Divundu, most people rely on employment at lodges, cuca shops, supermarkets and Chinese-owned shops, while others have resorted to hawking on the streets.

It was revealed last year that the unemployment rate in Kavango East stands at 62.5%.

The trio said they would usually do odd jobs such as assisting to offload trucks or helping at construction sites, but opportunities have become scarce.

“Like for me, I used to do construction work but there are no projects in Divundu at the moment, which means that I will have to look around and hope I get a job that will enable me to survive,” Kandundu said.

He added the thought of not being able to feed his children and family has affected him emotionally.

“As a man, you are supposed to provide for your family but I am unable to do that. I can't sleep peacefully knowing that my family has needs and there is nothing I can do,” he said.

Kandundu said if the situation continues, he will be forced to go to other towns to seek employment.

Muwara said he feels embarrassed when he has to go home empty-handed after hunting for a job during the day.

“Sometimes I don't even want to go home because it's very embarrassing to go home and face my family, who hope I return home with something or news that I got a job,” Muwara said.

Kamonga said he has a supportive family who are willing to take care of his children while he is job-hunting.

“I have two children and my family is helping me feed them. They understand my situation, but I don't know until when they will assist me with raising my children. I just hope that I get a job so that I can feed my family,” he said.

The trio said they are able to do any kind of job if the opportunity arises.

The three men have also appealed to the village council leadership to attract investors to the town.

Last October, when contacted for comment on the issue of unemployment and attracting investors to the area, Divundu village council CEO Athanasius Maghumbo said they are a newly proclaimed local authority and have so far been advocating through the media for investors.

“So far, we have some potential investors who have shown an interest and have thus made applications to the council, which are still under consideration.

“These range from property development, a milling plant, a hospitality establishment and an application to construct a shopping complex.

“The council is also equally affected by the economic downturn and it hampers our efforts in terms of service delivery in general, and the servicing of land in particular. For example, the council is unable to develop new erven due to lack of adequate funding,” Maghumbo said at the time.

Asked when Divundu would become a town and what progress was being made towards this, Maghumbo said at the moment their efforts are geared towards addressing current pressing issues like the provision of housing and other services.

“Once the mentioned objectives have been achieved, then it becomes a measure of success and only then can we start contemplating a status change for our local authority. Of course, it is our long-term objective that we achieve town council status someday in the future,” he added.

Kenya Kambowe

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