Close to 300 residents of the town of Eenhana, most of whom were women, on Thursday 1 December, held a candle-lit vigil at the earth day in which two businessmen died on 25 November.
The two, who were brothers, 33-year-old Lukas Shiwomwenyo Shapwanale and 30-year-old Immanuel Tangeni Shapwanale, used to draw water from the earth dam situated in the eastern part of the town, to go and make bricks as normal operations of their business, I. T. Shapwanale Investments cc.
In the fateful morning of 25 November, at six, they drove their car to the earth dam (etale) as they normally did most of their working days, but on that day as they arrived at the dam the car skidded into the water where the two drowned.
Their bodies were retrieved only several hours later at around 11h00 when police divers from Oshana region arrived.
The vigil, that took place at 17h00 on 1 December, was followed by a march through the town, and through the Donkerhoek suburb past the business premises of I. T. Shapwanale Investments, and then the throng of mourners entered the Anglikan Church of Eenhana where a memorial service was held.
Ms Leefa Ndabo, a resident of Eenhana who was born and grew up in this town, expressed great concern for the loss of lives which continue to perish in the earth dams east of the town.
Ndabo, herself a self-taught swimmer and diver in the same earth dams, said that she was contributing an amount of N$3000 to a fund, if such a fund can be set up, so that several volunteers from the region of Ohangwena can be sent where they can receive training to become divers.
“It’s disheartening to experience such a situation where we had to stand there at the edges of the water waiting for divers from Oshana region to come and retrieve the bodies of our loved ones,” she said.
Ohangwena Governor Walde Ndevashiya, in his memorial remarks a short while later said that Ndabo’s request was a good suggestion.
“I believe that no one will be against such an idea,” Ndevashiya said. “As the leadership of the region, and the leadership of this town, we will support such an initiative. We will communicate with the training institutions which are available to see how this great idea can be put into action.”
Deputy Mayor of Eenhana, Rev. Selma Kawiiwa, read a message from Eenhana Town Council, expressing great grief for the death of the two brothers.
“They were some of the very hard working young people of our town who contributed immensely to the development of our town,” she said.
NCCI Eenhana Branch chairperson Ms Linea Haimbodi also expressed a message of shock and disappointment at the loss of the two brothers.
In the photo: Some of the residents of Eenhana marching back from the earth dams, which so far this year are said to have claimed four lives.