4 NEWS Tuesday, July 25 2017 | NEW ERA Delegates at the SADC Women Parliamentarians Conference on Resolution 60/2, which focuses on women and the girl child, which met in Mahe, Seychelles. Photo: Moses Magadza Moses Magadza Windhoek Female members of parliament from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) who recently attended a two-day conference organised by SADC PF and other partners in Mahé, Seychelles have made strong recommendations for greater parliamentary involvement in the ratification and domestication of relevant international and continental instruments relating to women, girls, HIV and sexual and reproductive health rights. In a bold declaration dubbed the Mahé Declaration, the parliamentarians resolved to implement and advocate implementation of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) Resolution 60/2 entitled: “Women, the Girl Child and HIV and AIDS.” This international instrument calls for attention to be paid to the high levels of new HIV infections among young women and adolescent girls and its root causes. The Mahé Declaration was developed in the context of continued high prevalence of HIV, particularly among women and girls in the SADC region, a situation which raises great public health and developmental concern. The parliamentarians noted that HIV has the potential to undermine the SADC region’s attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) whose end date is 2030. As indicated in the declaration, Eastern and Southern Africa regionally has less than 7% of the global population but contributes close to 50 percent of new adult infections globally and is home to more than 19 million people living with HIV, of whom more than half are women. The epidemic continues to cause Declaration set to address HIV and SRHR in SADC morbidity and mortality, as well as induce poverty and inequality both of which are an antithesis for sustainable development, according to the parliamentarians. The Mahé Declaration therefore contains extensive recommendations to address the root causes of HIV prevalence among women and girls. These include taking rapid action to reduce poverty, ensuring access to quality integrated, adolescent and youth friendly health services, information and education opportunities with a special focus on comprehensive sexuality education for in and out of school youth, while eradicating child marriage as defined in the SADC model law on eradicating child marriage and protecting those already in marriage. Going forward, the parliamentarians committed to acquainting themselves with the legal and policy environment in their respective countries with regard to HIV and sexual and reproductive health rights. They said enhanced knowledge of the legal and policy environment would be critical in making informed assessments of the effectiveness thereof and where necessary, enactment of laws aiming at protecting the sexual and reproductive health rights of all, with a specific focus on the most vulnerable. A solid commitment was also made by the parliamentarians to review, revise, amend or repeal all laws, regulations and policies including cultural and religious practices and customs that have a discriminatory impact on youths, especially girls and young women. Economic inequality and unequal power relations; discrimination in society and in the workplace; all forms of violence; inhumane and degrading treatment; sexual exploitation; women and child trafficking and harmful practices and norms including some cultural practices, disempower women and girls and further expose them to substantial risks of contracting HIV, the lawmakers noted. The parliamentarians further noted that existing inequalities among certain key populations such as sex workers, people living with disabilities, migrants, girls living in poverty and transgender persons are disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS. Among the concerns highlighted in the Mahé Declaration is that HIV among female sex workers in SADC is significantly higher than it is among the general adult population. This same population group also faces violence, stigma and discrimination at the hands of family members, in communities, at the workplace and in healthcare settings. Often their rights to dignity, health and education are denied. The parliamentarians therefore lament that these persistent structural barriers, as well as male chauvinism and patriarchy, often work to reinforce women’s unequal status in society and fuel HIV vulnerability among women and girls. Harmful social and cultural norms and practices also continually deny women and girls the opportunity to attend school, further reinforcing their vulnerability to violence and HIV while also denying them opportunities to economic independence. The Mahé Declaration states that the prohibition of such practices and customs can aptly be resolved by ensuring that provisions of domestic legislation conform more to international human rights laws and include protection from all harmful practices. Additionally, the parliamentarians pledged to enact laws aimed at improving inclusive access to education at all levels and providing viable alternatives for the many young people. This would include paying particular attention to the participation of adolescent girls, who drop out of the formal education system, by facilitating re-entry and revamping informal education and training through standardized certification within and between African countries. Various activities including the dissemination of information, training, sensitization workshops and the development of model laws relating to the various issues of HIV and sexual and reproductive health rights are some of the ways through which SADC PF can come on board to assist parliaments to enact national laws based on international and regional instruments. SADC PF was supported in hosting the conference by Sweden and Norway. It got additional financial and technical support from development partners that include UN agencies, the United Nations Development Programme, UNFPA and UN Women as well as from regionally based civil society partners, ARASA and SAFAIDS. Foetus found on airport road Staff Reporter Windhoek The police reported yesterday that a foetus wrapped in newspaper and stuffed in plastic bags was found by a pedestrian walking next to the Neudamm Experimental Farm and Hosea Kutako International Airport on Sunday morning at around 12h00. No further information was available and police investigations continue. A boy, aged two years, fell into a well and drowned at Omutekwa village, Ondjungulume in Otamanzi Constituency at around 18h00 on Sunday evening. According to the police report, the toddler, identified as Frederick Gabriel, was playing with other children near the well when the incident happened. His next of kin were informed and police investigations continue. Another pedestrian was hit and killed on Sunday at around 18h00 on the road between Outapi and Oshakati. According to the police report, the driver of a VW Amarok was travelling from east to west when he struck Shikalepo Martin, 49, who was crossing the road, killing him instantly. His next of kin were informed and the police are investigating a case of culpable homicide. Elderly have special needs – social worker Tuulikki Abraham Lüderitz !Nami#nus Constituency Councillor Jan Scholtz says the government is working hard to improve the social well-being of its elderly citizens by providing them with free access to medical services and social grants. However, he noted, some of the elderly do not seem to enjoy these benefits due to abuse and stereotyping in the society. He said many cases of abuse are not reported because the abuse occurs within the family. ”Therefore, it is our responsibility as caregivers, community members to ensure senior citizens are taken care of. All cases of abuse must be reported to the relevant authorities. The elderly are the pillars of our country and without them we shall not achieve the objective of Vision 2030 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP),” he said at the World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day, organized by social workers from Lüderitz State Hospital. The event was held at !Nami#nus Constituency Office last Saturday. Scholtz said abuse of the elderly is a worldwide phenomenon that significantly affects both developed and developing countries. Abuse, neglect, violence and exploitation are among the biggest issues faced by senior citizens. Many elderly people live alone, some are placed in old age homes, while their properties are sold or taken over by their relatives. Those who stay with their family members are likely to suffer physical, psychological, sexual or financial abuse. Scholtz stated that in many cases senior citizens are denied access to basic human right such as medical care, own housing, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, the right to acquire and own assets and usage of their own money. A social worker at Lüderitz State Hospital Rahia Ishitile, the main organizer of the awareness day, noted that World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day is commemorated on June 15 but at Lüderitz they made arrangements to commemorate the day on July 15. This year it was commemorated under the theme: Understand and End Financial Abuse of Old People. Ishitile stated that elderly people’s roles in society should be recognized, as elders have the right to participate in development programmes and should be treated as individuals with special needs. She also mentioned that older people have the right to be listened to and their mental and physical limitations understood. The older people furthermore have a right to be informed about HIV/AIDS to enable them to protect themselves and those under their care. Older people living with HIV/AIDS also have the right to treatment, care and support. More than 100 of the elderly gathered at !Nami#nus Constituency Office last Saturday where they were served with tea and soup.
Tuesday, July 25 2017 | NEW ERA NEWS 5 Free education still requires parental input: Hanse-Himarwa HENTIES BAY The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa said parents should not use free education as an excuse to spend the intended money on luxuries and slack on their duties as parents. Government in 2015 introduced free primary education and in 2016 free secondary education, cancelling the mandatory financial contributions of parents or guardians to public schools and exam fees to the ministry. “Free education is not free because as parents we are expected to still contribute the best we can. So let us not use the money for our own entertainment thinking now we are not responsible for education anymore,” said the minister. Hanse-Himarwa delivered a speech during her first visit to Kamwandi Junior Secondary School (JSS) in Henties Bay on Friday, where she officiated at a handover from the Michael Skini Charity Cup to the school. In her personal capacity and with assistance from other politicians at the event, they pledged N.dollars 6 000 to the school for the renovation of the roof. She emphasised that the public, private sector and community can work together and contribute to the construction of schools and classrooms, or the supply of other resources such as computers and books. The minister noted education is a societal matter that needs collective efforts from Government and communities. “We are striving for inclusive, quality, equitable and lifelong learning.” She used the opportunity to advise the public and politicians to convert the Harambee Prosperity Plan into action instead of using it as a “cool word”. She said they should contribute to Harambee by supporting education the same way they preached about it. 18 guards unpaid for two months Tuulikki Abraham Lüderitz On discipline and manners, she said parents should not leave it to teachers alone, as they are also responsible for enforcing it at home, which in the end would ease the process of educating children. “If we do not get rid of the ill-discipline from home, our schools will continue to have that problem for decades.” The Michael Skini Charity Cup on Friday donated equipment, cash and school uniforms to Kamwandi JSS as pledged by individual members of the community earlier this year. – Nampa Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwa Guards employed by Chimurenga Trading cc, a Keetmanshoop-based outfit, have endured hardship after their employer failed to pay their monthly wages for two months. About 18 employees of Chimurenga Security firm that has a contract with a local education institution have since May not been paid their wages, making their life very difficult. Guards relayed the hardships they endure as a result of salary delays, saying they have found it extremely difficult to feed their families, pay rent and send their children to hospital and school. One concerned security guard explained that in May and June they had to borrow money from loan sharks whose repayments are almost prohibitive because they charge interest. “I am in difficulty and have not eaten for days my landlady says she needs the money now. I also do not have any toiletries and my clothes are very dirty. I cannot accumulate any more debts,” he narrated his ordeal. Contacted for comment, coowner of Chimurenga Frans Kooper said he is aware of his employees’ hardships and he in turn blamed the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture for not having paid for the services rendered by his company since May. Head of Finance at //Karas Regional Council Directorate of Education, Arts and Culture Inid Deeku, when approached for comment confirmed the directorate has not paid the security firm its money since May but she promised all the outstanding amount will be settled soon. Getting there… One of the streets at Ndiyona settlement, where lights were recently put up. Houses constructed under the Build Together can also be seen in the background. Ndiyona experiences steady growth John Muyamba Ndiyona The Ndiyona settlement, 110 km east of Rundu in Ndiyona Constituency, has seen some developmental activities since it was proclaimed a settlement way back in 2007. “To date we have 231 surveyed plots at the settlement, of which 206 are residential plots and out of that 123 have already been allocated,” settlement administrator Frans Kaundu said. “Nine plots are reserved as public open space and 16 plots are reserved for business purposes and 11 of these plots have already been allocated to various businesses.” At the moment the Kavango East Regional Council has funded the first phase of the construction of municipal infrastructure, which include the construction of an oxidation pond, infrastructure for potable water, and sewer reticulation infrastructure. Construction of these infrastructure commenced in August 2015 and is now completed and is to be soon handed over to council by contractors Finishing touches are expected to be completed by end of this month. Delayed payment is said to have affected the timely completion of the projects, VACANCY The Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (“NAMFISA; the Authority”) is an independent institution established by virtue of Act No. 3 of 2001 to effectively regulate and supervise financial institutions in Namibia and to give sound advice to the Minister of Finance. NAMFISA is an equal opportunity employer and invites competent and suitably qualified candidates to apply for the following position: HEAD: GOVERNANCE, RISK & COMPLIANCE For more detailed information, interested candidates are invited to visit the NAMFISA website at: www.namfisa.com.na Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and no documents will be returned. No faxed applications will be accepted. CLOSING DATE: 4 AUGUST 2017 such as the oxidation pond. The second phase of the construction of municipal infrastructure, which include gravel roads and bulk electricity supply has also seen steady progress. The gravel roads and the street lights and other electricity facilities are ready to be connected to light up Ndiyona, which construction long done. Construction of sewer and water infrastructure commenced on 5 October 2016 and was completed by May this year. “This was delayed by the slow pace of compensation of affected people, in order for them to avail the land where construction of this facilities was to take place,” Kaundu told New Era. The settlement is also home to the Build Together project through which low-income earners are assisted to acquire cheap houses. Just recently, 25 houses were completed through the second phase of this program at the settlement. Apart from Ndiyona Combined School, the settlement has offices of Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and the VaGciriku Tribal Office where the settlement offices are currently situated. The settlement also boasts a state-of-the-art police station which houses court facilities and police accommodation. The Ndiyona Constituency office is also located at settlement.