…500 kids living on Windhoek streets
By Confidente Reporter
THE Windhoek City Police recently rounded up several street kids aged between 10 and 16 years for questioning following complaints of traffic obstructions, theft from motor vehicles and driver harassment.
The kids, City Police says, are often seen at various intersections asking for money and terrifying motorists and locals alike. The municipal police also stressed concern over their increasing number on the city’s roads, advising motorists to refrain from giving them money.
“Between the period of October 20 to 27, street kids mainly from the ages of 10 and 16 years were brought in at City Police headquarters for profiling. Traffic obstructions, theft from motor vehicles and driver harassment are some of the complaints reported against the kids. All road users are advised to refrain from giving money to the street kids, as this delays the free flow of vehicles during rush hours and it encourages the kids to continue coming to the intersections.”
Street kids are an overwhelming problem on the streets of towns and cities in the country. It is estimated that there are about 500 street kids living on the streets of Windhoek. They find shelter in abandoned buildings and sleep under bridges and some instances in riverbeds. Some started living on the street at as young as eight years old.
A research by the University of Namibia last year found that some of the children have homes but usually find themselves on the street to contribute towards the financial support of their families. Some of the kids however have little or no contact with their families and are on the street for survival. Some of them ended up on the street because their caregivers are unemployed, while other factors include alcohol and physical and emotional abuse. The research was carried out in informal settlements in Katutura, Khomasdal, Windhoek West and Windhoek North, as well as the CBD.
In an unrelated case, three men were busted for impersonating NATIS officials having illegally offered to assist a woman obtain a learner’s driving license for N$3 000. The suspects acquired the woman’s number from her application form while in line registering at NATIS. The exchange was nipped in the bud by undercover police officers.
In another matter, the municipal police has also called out on the reckless driving of motorists saying that drivers’ bad attitude was contributing heavily to every day crashes. Drivers are urged to show consideration for other road users and to remain calm in the face of potential danger.
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