by Adam Hartman

ORANO Mining Namibia donated sanitiser gel and surgical gloves and masks worth N$30 000 to the Erongo police on Tuesday.

PROTECTION … From left: Chief inspector Moses Aebeb of the Swakopmund police station, Orano Mining Namibia managing director Tommie Gouws and warrant officer Pelican Mundjindi of Swakopmund police station attending the handover ceremony of protective gear to the Erongo police. Photo: Contributed

The protective gear would be used by the police and defence force members jointly stationed at the 16 stations within the Erongo region that forms the centre of the Covid-19 response.

The officers stationed within the region to manage the lockdown are at risk of infection daily, as they come into contact with the public, and have been experiencing a shortage of protective equipment.

At the handover of the materials, Orano Mining Namibia managing director Tommie Gouws thanked the forces for their sacrifice and the valuable service they are providing during this critical time, out in the field and often away from their families.

Chief Inspector Moses Aebeb of the Swakopmund police station received the material on behalf of the Erongo police, with warrant officer Pelican Mundjindi.

“In addition to the support to local authorities, Orano Mining Namibia will also ensure that the Erongo desalination plant will continue its operations, so that water supply is not interrupted for the region.

“Strict control measures have been implemented at the plant and a contingency plan is in place should any employee contract Covid-19,” said Gouws.

The gesture comes after Erongo police officers informed The Namibian a week ago that they were serving without protection during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Meantime, the officers have been enforcing the lockdown measures in their normal uniforms.

The public has also raised concerns that the police officers enforcing lockdown rules are not wearing protective gear – not just for their safety, but for the safety of the public too.

One person at DRC informal settlement was recently allegedly manhandled by police officers and soldiers for operating a kiosk without a licence and for resisting police instructions.

He was fined N$2 000 for each offense.

After he was allegedly slapped and thrown into a police van with several unprotected officers, he feared he might have contracted the coronavirus.

“I cannot go back to my family now because I may have the virus. They were not protected, but they were all over me and touched me. I cannot expose my family now. I will have to self-quarantine for two weeks,” he said.

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