Unemployment drives Kalkrand youth to crime, substance abuse

KALKRAND: Unemployed youth at Kalkrand in the Hardap Region have resorted to crime, alcohol and drug abuse, with an average of 13 criminal cases recorded per month by the Namibian Police Force (NamPol). 'To be honest the youth here just get caught up in drugs. There are no jobs, the only money they get is from the drugs they sell. Also, there are no sports activities or anything. They do not have anything to help the mind,' Nico Jagger, who is struggling to find employment, said here recently. The u33-year-old told Nampa in a recent interview that young people in the village suffer tremendously as there are no economic activities, stressing that locals are forced to travel to surrounding towns such as Rehoboth to access essential services. 'We can't buy anything here, people are already struggling and are forced to spend a lot of money on hitchhiking. At least we want shops like Pep stores and Woermann Brock,' he said. Another resident, Louwda Garises, 35, indicated that during the day the majority of you ng people consume alcohol, mainly traditional brews, such as tombo which cost N.dollars 5. 'When you are done with the house chores, you can't sit the whole day at home watching television, one gets tired, so we leave the house to go drink because there is nothing to do,' she said. She noted that the village only has one service station alongside the B1 road where young girls have resorted to sexual activities for money with truck drivers. 'Teenage girls are being bought alcohol and drugs by these truck drivers in exchange for sex. We need a change in Kalkrand. People are wondering why we are drinking so much, there is nothing to do here,' she fumed. NamPol's Hardap Region head of community affairs, Inspector Otniel //Gowaseb, said unemployment, alcohol and substance abuse are contributing to crimes mostly committed by young people. Common crimes include assaults; stock thefts, theft, housebreaking and drugs, he said, noting that the current crime rate stands at 13 cases per month for an estimated popula tion of 7 000 to 9 000 inhabitants. 'The main problem we face in combating crime is a shortage of manpower,' he noted. Source: The Namibia Press Agency