Destitute families who are unable to meet even the most basic needs are found all over Namibia.

nbc News team caught up with such a family in Rundu and compiled this report. 

These are the living conditions of 53-year-old Natalia Mbako and her family of nine. 

They moved to Rundu’s Ndama informal settlement a few years ago after leaving Nkurenkuru for greener pastures. 

Their pursuit for a better life never materialised, and the family found themselves without a proper shelter while surviving on handouts from community members. 

They have no running water, and the mother claims they walk from house to house, asking for water.

Mbako says their life revolves around asking for food from neighbours, and if no one helps them, they can go without food for up to three consecutive days.

When the nbc team visited the family on this particular day, Mbako revealed that they had no idea what they were going to eat. 

They told us that the leaves from a cassava tree in their yard become their source of sustenance when hunger pangs become unbearable. 

Mbako, who claims to be Namibian, does not have any national documents, and neither does the rest of the family. 

For now, the family sleeps in these makeshift structures, which are hardly strong enough to withstand weather conditions. 

Berthiliah Simbaranda-Vistor is a private social worker and says these are just some of the many destitute families found in both Kavango Regions.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Kavango East Regional Council, Damian Maghambayi, says there is a constituency development committee entrusted to ensure that destitute or vulnerable people are taken care of.

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NBC Digital News


Frances Shaahama