Social deprivation huge riks for safety of Swakop tourists
By Adolf Kaure.
The Mayor of Swakopmund, Her Worship Dina Namubes said that Swakopmund’s status as a tourism hub is attracting unsavoury elements with the result that holidaymakers who generate much-needed income for the town, do not feel safe.
The mayor made these remarks at the Swakopmund safety meeting held on Wednesday at the coastal town.
“Due to our popularity as a tourist and event location, Swakopmund attracts visitors, businesspeople, and government officials for a variety of reasons. These people want to feel protected and use their space undisturbed during their stay here.”
“We are becoming what we are as a result of situations that have roots like unemployment, parent deaths leaving children homeless, trauma, low self-esteem, and losing human dignity,” she said citing recent studies that show an increase in the number of beggars and street children in the town.
She said that according to reports, the group of beggars and street kids are also committing crimes and a solution needs to be found for beggars as they hamper the tourism activities in the town.
“This is indeed worrisome, and we need to fast track the implementation of the solutions to curb the increase and [prevent] further damage.”
“However, we are all aware of the various challenges that our community members face such as the high prevalence of unemployment, poverty, early school dropout, stealing, shoplifting, housebreaking, begging and substance abuse, just to name a few,” said Namubes.
“The Swakopmund Town Council alone will not be able to solve these challenges, hence our presence here this morning. We need to come together as a group to identify these challenges and solicit pragmatic solutions,” she said.
The safety meeting platform was initiated to allow stakeholders an opportunity to deliberate on important issues of concern of the Swakopmund community.
Swakopmund is Namibia’s premier centre of adventure and one of the most popular tourism and sports destinations.