The lack of land and high unemployment is driving the young people of the Omitara settlement to look for consolation in the liquor bottle while others engage in poaching on neighbouring farms, driving a wedge between their community and the farmers.
Police Public Relations Committee (PPRC) chairperson and resident of Omitara settlement, Steven Eigowab, told New Era about the poaching and the abuse of alcohol by many disgruntled, unemployed youths in this rural backwater. Eigowab accused some Windhoek residents of influencing young people at Omitara to commit crimes and engage in alcohol abuse. He claimed that outsiders flood the settlement with the sale of alcohol worsening the situation at the settlement. Residents attempted to start a youth against crime programme, but it failed to materialise due to unemployment. "They say they need to poach to sell meat," said Eigowab who noted that they regard poaching as a form of income-generation. No economic activities take place at the settlement other than the sale of food and alcohol and the Okarukambe Constituency Councillor, who is also the Deputy Minister of Works and Transport, Kilus Nguvauva, promised the settlers the creation of an open market, however this has not yet materialised.
Approached for comment, Nguvauva said he never discussed the establishment of an open market with the residents and invited New Era to travel with him to the settlement in order for residents to air their concerns in his presence.
About 10 shebeens operate in the small settlement of 1 630 residents, however the police carry out random patrols to check on adherence to operating hours and if the establishments are being operated legally, according to Eigowab.
In addition, the Omitara police station commander, Sergeant Jacqueline Sakala, confirmed that illegal hunting or poaching, trespassing, stock theft, domestic violence, as well as assaults to cause grievous bodily harm are the most common crimes committed at the settlement with a total of 66 reported cases from January to date and a total of 79 cases last year. More....