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Tells it All - Namibian Sun

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  • 07/10/17--16:00: Rand slightly firmer
  • Rand slightly firmerRand slightly firmer The rand firmed slightly against the dollar early yesterday, recouping some of last week's losses after strong US employment data kept emerging-market currencies on the back foot.

    Stronger-than-expected US jobs data late last week reinforced expectations of another interest rate hike in the United States.

    Asian stocks rose yesterday thanks to a robust Wall Street performance at the end of last week, while the US dollar extended gains made after much stronger than expected June employment data.

    Wall Street stocks closed on a high note Friday, with the S&P 500 index posting its best gain in six sessions on the heels of a US payrolls report that gave investors more confidence in the strength of the US economy.

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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    Slight improvement in business climateSlight improvement in business climate The IJG Business Climate Monitor recovered by 0.81 points in March, to a level of 47.04 points, from 46.24 in the preceding month.

    Despite the slight recovery, the index remained well below the 50-point level, meaning that the high-frequency indicators still suggest the economy is contracting but at a slightly slower rate than was the case in the preceding month.

    “This is the third consecutive contraction in the index, which has indicated a slowing economy since mid-2015, an observation subsequently backed up by the Namibia Statistics Agency's Gross Domestic Product figures,” said the IPPR.

    Of the 31 indicators measured, 13 saw expansion in March, while the remaining 18 contracted. During the month, two very noteworthy positive points were witnessed, namely increased diamond and gold production, according to the IPPR.

    “It is believed that this trend will be followed by both copper and uranium through 2017,” the IPPR said of the business environment.

    But the IPPR was concerned about the outlook for uranium. “However, with regard to uranium, remaining price pressures on the nuclear commodity mean that risks to the production outlook abound,” the IPPR said.

    “Additional positives can be seen with regards to beef and lamb prices, both of which have recovered dramatically, signalling a decline in supply to the abattoirs, largely as a result of inventory rebuilding following the end of the drought. This bodes well for agriculture growth in 2017,” the IPPR said.

    “Added to this, total import volumes are starting to moderate while exports are slowly improving, meaning that the merchandise trade balance too is improving. This is positive for international reserve levels, which levels are critical for maintaining macro-stability and the currency peg,” it concluded.

    STAFF REPORTER

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  • 07/10/17--16:00: Tax defaulters urged to pay
  • Tax defaulters urged to payTax defaulters urged to payTax scheme deadline looms Finance minister Calle Schlettwein has urged tax defaulters to pay outstanding taxes before the 31 July deadline. Finance minister Calle Schlettwein is worried that there has been a poor response to a tax scheme that was recently introduced to help taxpayers who had fallen behind with their payments.

    He has expressed disappointment that only a small number had responded to calls to pay their outstanding taxes.

    “We are worried that the take-up is very slow. The total outstanding bill that we have calculated to be due was N$4 billion. What has been taken up is just over N$200 million,” Schlettwein said last week.

    He encouraged defaulters to make use of the payment scheme.

    “There is a worry that the taxpayer did not fully embrace the scheme. We want to call upon taxpayers to make use of this payment scheme,” Schlettwein said.

    He warned defaulters that the government would be forced to use unpopular methods which, he stressed, was not the intention.

    “When the 31st of July comes, the picture will be very different, you will force the taxman's hand to get what it is due. Those methods can be very rough and we don't want to go there. If push comes to shove, that is where we are headed,” Schlettwein said.

    “Only N$242 million has been collected to date. It is far below expectation,” he said.

    “The incentive programme for the payment of tax, write-off of a portion of the interest and waiver of penalties took effect from 1 February 2017 and ends on 31 July 2017. Payment of the full tax amount and 20% interest must be made no later than 31 July 2017 for one to benefit from the incentive programme,” Schlettwein announced at its launch.

    According to Schlettwein, no amount of the outstanding tax will be waived.

    Schlettwein said in December 2016 that N$19 billion was owed to the state dating back to Independence. N$4 billion is made up of principal while the remainder is made up of penalties, interest and interest on interest.

    The incentive programme applies to income tax, value-added tax, value-added tax import, employee tax, stamp duties and non-resident shareholder tax.

    “All individuals, businesses, companies, close corporations and other entities with outstanding debt on their tax accounts may apply to participate in the incentive programme. Payments must be made in instalments over a maximum period of six months, last instalment which must be made on 31 July 2017. Only once the full principal tax amount and 20% of interest are paid, will the remaining 80% portion of interest and all penalties be waived.

    In order to determine the correct amount of tax owed, he advised defaulters to fill in outstanding tax returns.

    “Taxpayers who fail to apply to the Ministry of Finance to have a portion of the interest written off during the period allocated will forfeit this benefit when the incentive programme lapses. The ministry will then enforce its collection mandate against taxpayers as if the programme was never introduced,” the minister warned.

    Please note that this is a one-off programme,” he said.

    The bank details for the settlement of taxes are as follows: Bank of Namibia, account name: Receiver of Revenue, account number: 165011 and branch code: 980-172.

    OGONE TLHAGE

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  • 07/10/17--16:00: Cooking up a storm
  • Cooking up a stormCooking up a stormTurning her pan-passion into a career Kaute Kavezembua, a 2017 WorldSkills competitor and a Level 3 cooking trainee at Nakayale Vocational Training Centre shares how she is turning her passion for cooking into a career that will sustain her. Twenty-two-year-old Kavezembua, who describes herself as an ambitious young lady, says she is motivated by her love to feed her family. “I am a young lady who wants to become successful and find means to look after my relatives who are unable to look after themselves,” she said. Kavezembua says her grandmother is her source of inspiration as demonstrated by her good heart and commitment to provide for her family all the time.

    Kavezembua shared that growing up, she dreamt of becoming a teacher, a dream that still lingers and that she considers doing in future. She admits that, unfortunately not everyone gets to live their childhood dreams and sometimes life forces people to take different routes in life. “Not everyone gets to be a teacher or a doctor, but fortunately for me, I ended up doing something that I still love, which is cooking,” she said.

    She recalled how her cousin used to buy recipe books and because she loves trying out new things, she would always challenge herself by trying out those recipes. “My older cousin who is also my guardian thought I was a good cook and she advised me to enrol at a vocational school to hone my skills,” said Kavezembua.

    She said she started cooking when she was 11 and the favourite dish she likes to prepare is Sizzling Bison Steak-Fry. According to Kavezembua, what she loves most about cooking is that, it makes her creative and sharpens her ability to multitask. “Cooking requires you to be creative and I love how this creativity brings out the best in me, because at the end of the day I get to produce a delicious meal,” she said. Kavezembua adds that her love for cooking has played a major role in her organisational skills, hygiene and the ability to save resources.

    Kavezembua has competed in numerous cooking competitions before and points out the National WorldSkills Competition which took place at Ramatex last year as one of her highlights. Kavezembua was also one of the competitors who competed in the chef competition hosted by the Namibia Chef Association recently. “Being part of these big cooking competitions has taught me a lot and in future I wish to take part in the Chopped cooking competition in South Africa,” she says.

    Kavezembua also said that she is grateful for the opportunity granted to her by WorldSkills Namibia to represent Namibia in the cooking competition at international level. “I never knew I would one day be listed as a competitor for this type of competition and for that I am thankful and I hope to do my best to make my family and country proud,” said Kavezembua. She says she is impressed by the support her family and friends have rendered to her and that her wish is to make them all proud. “Being in my position as a WorldSkills competitor is tough because it comes with a lot of expectations, so to have family and friends routing for me is something I do not take for granted,” she said.

    Kavezembua shared that in the near future she wants to enrol at Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) to pursue her level 7 in her trade. “After completing my course at Nust I want to become one of the professional chefs in Namibia in order for me to fulfil my dream of becoming a teacher and mentor rookie chef,” she said. Kavezembua warned those who would like to pursue a career in the hospitality industry that the license to make it in this field is hard work. “If you want to make it far in the hospitality industry then you should be ready to work long hours and be able to take criticism from other people regarding your work because most people think hospitality is only cooking which is not the case,” she cautioned. Currently, Kavezembua is busy preparing for the WorldSkills Competition which will take place in Abu Dhabi from October 14-19 2017. “In that country I want to perform to the best of my abilities in order to make my country, mentor and family proud when I will become one of the winners,” she assured.

    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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    Bank Windhoek, proudly NamibianBank Windhoek, proudly Namibian Newsprint Namibia, previously John Meinert Newsprint, was the first pioneering newspaper printing company in Namibia. Newsprint Namibia printed its very first newspaper, Der Kriegsbote, in 1917. It became the Allgemeine Zeitung in 1918 and after 100 years this newspaper is currently still printed by Newsprint Namibia.

    Newsprint Namibia has grown and developed along with printed media through the years, to become the well-established web offset printer it is today, employing 100 people, most of whom have been trained in-house. Newsprint Namibia is committed to produce printed products of the highest standard and continues to invest in the technical and human resources necessary to maintain and ever improve this status quo.

    Newsprint Namibia aims to provide innovative products and printing solutions to their clients, to continue to train people and to create employment in order to improve and develop our local printing industry.

    We print a number of daily and weekly newspapers. We also print commercial inserts, flyers or pamphlets for various commercial and retail clients. Newsprint Namibia also prints and produces specialist products such as A4-type booklets that are trimmed and stitched.

    Printing is done in a variety of formats and sizes, from broadsheet to passport size. Most of our work is done in the tabloid or A3 size. All printing is done on newsprint grade paper that varies between 48.8 and 60gms.

    Newsprint Namibia also incorporates a mailroom and distribution function. We package the products that we print according to the client’s specifications and needs. We also distribute papers to all four corners of Namibia on a daily basis.

    Currently Newsprint Namibia is located in Eider Street 2-4 in the Lafrenz Industrial Area in Windhoek, Namibia.

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    Youth festival slated for SeptemberYouth festival slated for September The Youth Education Arts Education Association (YEAEA) will be hosting the Namibia Youth Arts Festival (NYAF) on 2 September.

    The organisers of the festival said that the festival will focus on many aspects within the arts and entertainment industry. The youth arts festival will focus on music, poetry and fashion, dance and drama and visual arts.

    Michael Pulse, who is part of the organising committee of the festival, said it was important to highlight the importance of arts in Namibia. “We want to empower the children so they can choose to study arts. Our kids do not have an idea that there is an opportunity that they can study art but there are skills you can impart at a younger age and this is why we have this festival,” said Pulse.

    There are training workshops that are being conducted for the participants in the festival at three different schools. A total of 150 students will be taking part in the arts festival. Learners from Namutoni, Hage Geingob and Bet El Primary schools will be taking part.

    The festival will also incorporate an awareness campaign about water shortages being experienced in the country and the organisers hope to create consciousness about the El Nino phenomenon and climate change and how Namibians are affected by it.

    “Under the theme El Nino we celebrate that we are all different but can and should live together in harmony and respect within the protection of the environment,” shared Pulse. Pulse said that they are going to have a carnival march from the Central Business District (CBD) until the Arts Centre in Katutura.

    Pulse has requested more schools to take part in the event and has called on sponsors to give a helping hand towards the festival.

    “Besides the participating schools that are part of the initial workshop, we call out on other schools to participate in festival and any organisations willing to sponsor the event to do so as well,” said Pulse.

    The festival will take place at the Katutura Community Arts Centre (KCAC).

    Shona Ngava

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    Two institutions to be openedTwo institutions to be openedUnam spreads its wings The University of Namibia will open an institution at two coastal towns soon. The school of marine engineering and maritime studies will be established in Walvis Bay while the centre for mining and metallurgical research and training will be opened in Arandis.

    Founding president and patron of Unam, Sam Nujoma, launched the institutions at the Dome in Swakopmund recently.

    “Namibia still lacks skills to fully utilise its natural resources.

    These institutions will help the country.

    “Both these institutions are vital for industries that contribute immensely to the country's gross domestic product (GDP).

    “Namibia is a maritime nation,” said Nujoma during his keynote address.

    According to Nujoma, fisheries is the third highest contributor to Namibia's GDP behind mining and tourism and it also makes up 15% of the country's exports.

    “Namibia can contribute even more by human resources through skill development.

    “The development gap can be filled by Unam by bringing these two institutions to the coast.

    “The mining institute will create employment opportunities.

    “The two institutions are crucial to the economic development of the country,” he said.

    The launch also served as a fundraiser for the institutions. Nujoma donated a cheque of N$40 000 to be split between the two institutions.

    A combined total of N$554 000 of cheques and pledges were donated to the two institutions.

    The Arandis Town Council also provided land valued at N$4.1 million to be used to establish the centre for mining research and training.

    The coordinating director of the centre for mining and metallurgical research and training, Osmund Mwandemele assured that the resources would not go to waste and that the socio-economic development of the region would be aided though the institutions' establishment.

    ADOLF KAURE

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    Marie Horn: Bank teller at Bank WindhoekMarie Horn: Bank teller at Bank Windhoek A bank teller is very important in a bank as they are the first line of client service providers in the bank. Marie Horn is a teller at Bank Windhoek and works at the Grove Mall Branch. She explained that an essential part of her job is to confirm the accuracy of deposits and withdrawals for clients. “It is important that we do daily balancing of transactions at the end of each business day,” she explains.

    On an average day, tellers are occupied with giving clients the best service they can by helping them transact fast, and accurately. Horn added that part of her responsibilities is to assist new clients with the completion of deposit and withdrawal slips. “I also have to keep myself informed on the different currency rates every day in order to assist clients travelling abroad and foreign clients,” said Horn.

    Skills required to be a teller include customer care service skills, communications skills, computer skills and mathematics skills. “It is important for bank tellers to have mathematical skills to count and handle large amounts of money on a daily basis,” says Horn.

    Most teller jobs require experience with handling cash and a high school diploma. Horn said that she became a teller through attending on-the-job training provided by the bank.

    She pointed out that assisting clients and putting a smile on their faces when they walk out of the bank are the highlights of her job.



    A bank teller should:

    · Have broad knowledge of the commerce industry

    · Be someone that people can rely on and have excellent client service skills

    · Have a good knowledge of exchange rates



    Pull quote:

    “I also have to keep myself informed on the different currency rates every day in order to assist clients travelling abroad and foreign clients mostly from America and Europe.”

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    Shirley Geises: Credit manager at Bank WindhoekShirley Geises: Credit manager at Bank Windhoek If you ever need to make an investment or need a loan, you will visit a credit manager to assist you. Shirley Geises is a credit manager at Bank Windhoek. Her duties include advising on responsible lending and facilitating overdraft facilities, as well as granting or rejecting personal loans.

    Credit managers evaluate and assess credit applications by assessing risk factors such as the occupation, employer and qualifications of an applicant. With regards to business assessment and evaluations, a credit manager takes into consideration the financial statements of the business and the repayment ability of a certain business.

    Geises says her days usually revolve around her meeting her client's demands and making sure service is delivered. “I attend to walk-in clients on a daily basis and make appointments for credit related requests. I handle and solve enquiries of clients and authorise mandatory cheques of clients,” shares Geises.

    She says a credit manager needs to pay attention to detail and should be very meticulous. “A credit manager also needs to be diligent, patient and calm in addition to ensuring that the clients are handled in professional manner,” says Geises.

    What she enjoys most about her job is the fact that people and businesses trust her advice.



    A credit manager should:

    · Have the ability to evaluate and assess credit applications by assessing risk factors

    · Be able to handle and solve enquiries of clients under pressure.

    · Be able to pay attention to details



    Pull quote:

    “A credit manager also needs to be diligent, patient and calm in addition to ensuring that the clients are handled in professional manner.”

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    Dian Coetzee: Branch manager at Bank WindhoekDian Coetzee: Branch manager at Bank Windhoek Dian Coetzee is a branch manager at the Grove Mall Branch in Windhoek. A bank manager is responsible for the overall performance and routine tasks of a branch. Coetzee's focus is on customer satisfaction, sales, credit control, collateral administration, administration support and people management.

    A bank manager is also accountable to synchronise and direct the operational function of the bank. “Bank managers supervise the office, provide high levels of customer service and facilitate regular team meetings and training,” says Coetzee.

    “Although a tertiary qualification in finance and business administration is important, gaining experience in the banking environment is also vital,” he adds. “Being in the banking industry means you need to work hard and carry on learning to be able to reach the top.

    “Seeing the financial successes of individuals and businesses after they received assistance from the bank, inspired me to be a banker,” he says. He further explains that assisting individuals and businesses in reaching their financial goals, ultimately contributes to the economy of the country and thus benefits all citizens and communities.

    According to Coetzee, the highlight of this job is making budgets every year and knowing that your efforts directly contribute to the profit of the organisation. “Seeing the financial successes of my clients is very satisfying and rewarding,” he adds.

    Coetzee urges anyone those who wants to get into the banking industry to work very hard and have the correct mentality that will help them grow and explore this exciting industry.



    A bank manager should:

    · Be able to lead and supervise a dynamic team

    · Be able adapt and respond to change

    · Have an excellent grasp of the country's financial rules and regulations



    Pull quote:

    “Seeing the financial successes of individuals and businesses after they received assistance from the bank, inspires me to be a banker.”

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    Bank Windhoek, proudly NamibianBank Windhoek, proudly Namibian Bank Windhoek was established in 1982 by a group of Namibian entrepreneurs.

    The aim was to create a financially independent bank for Namibians in Namibia. Currently, Bank Windhoek is operating under the umbrella of Capricorn Group, of which Capricorn Investment Holding (CIH) is the main shareholder.

    Over the years, Bank Windhoek has built a strong financial position and achieved remarkable growth. This was confirmed by Global Credit Ratings, an international credit rating organisation. As a result, Bank Windhoek received a short-term credit rating of A1+ and a long-term credit rating of AA, placing the bank in the same league as other leading banks in southern Africa.

    As a unique Namibian bank, our heritage has always played a vital role in the way we approach our banking. Being Namibian, we have always had a set of challenges along the way. Not only have these challenges helped shape us in the bank we are today, but they have also cemented our legacy as a unique Namibian bank for Namibians. By keeping our roots firmly grounded in what we know best – our country and its people – our commitment towards building relationships within the communities we operate in, remains a key focus of our organisation and tangible through various socio-economic and consumer education initiatives.

    Bank Windhoek also remains committed to give its clients the best advice on using their bank accounts as efficiently and effectively as possible. As the financial partner of our clients, our range of consumer education initiatives are therefore aimed at empowering our clients and the Namibian public with knowledge, enabling them to make more informed decisions about their finances and increasing their financial literacy.

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  • 07/10/17--16:00: A fitness camp for the youth
  • A fitness camp for the youthA fitness camp for the youthHow to stay fit on a budget Training camps are not only for those who want to lose weight, but also for those who want to stay fit and keep healthy. Today's youth are not very active compared to the older generation.

    Many young people are usually found indoors either on their cell phones or engaging in video games.

    Very few are seen playing outside or spending time in nature.

    According to statistics, teenagers today make up more than half of the obese population due to staying inactive and unhealthy diets.

    After witnessing this, Kevin Kadhila and Vaughn Letlhagoje decided to take up the initiative and establish their very own fitness training called 'Feuze Fitness.' “We basically want to get people fit and help them lose weight. We are also here to help with gaining muscle to create a lean and fit physique,” said 22-year-old Letlhagoje. His partner, Kadhila, 21, also added that they want to help people with their diet and assist others with eating better.

    “We are a full package and we do not only assist with weight loss and staying fit, but we help with food choices as well,” Kadhila said.

    A friendship of eight years has seen the two in the same class at high school and both part of their school's rugby team.

    “Playing rugby together meant we both had a common interest in fitness. We both loved the toughness that came along with the game.

    “This is what sparked the initial love for staying fit,” Kadhila explained. After receiving an email from Letlhagoje last year to establish a fitness camp, Kadhila did not hesitate and this is what gave birth to Feuze Fitness. “We started off with running the Herbal Life challenge which is a weight-loss food supplement programme last year in February,” said Kadhila.

    The two currently have two stations running in Windhoek; one camp is at the Ella du Plessis Secondary School in Khomasdal and the second is at Emma Hoogenhout English Primary School in Hochland Park.

    Their client base has picked up immensely over the months and they have received nothing, but positive response.

    “For a young fitness camp, we are actually very well established. We both are very young and we have a good manager on board.

    “People know about it and our brand is slowly reaching the masses,” Letlhagoje said.

    Although they have noticed that majority of their clients are women, this does not limit their abilities. The two are targeting anyone who wants to keep fit and stay healthy. “We work with anyone from the age of 16.

    “Over the months, we have also realised that a lot of the women who come to the fitness training are mothers so we would also like to incorporate a more child-friendly boot camp for children to also train while they wait for their mothers.”

    Nowadays, there are not a significant number of activities and sports in which a child can participate although it has been scientifically proven that there are quite a number of health benefits that come from regular physical activity.

    Besides the fact that the young ones can develop healthy muscles, bones and joints, another benefit to being physically active is being able to maintain an appropriate body weight. “It also helps with establishing a positive change found in the child's behaviour.

    “This can result in a happier child,” Kadhila explained.

    The two are also thinking of implementing a kiddies fitness camp in different schools to engage scholars that are not interested in sport.

    “We are all not gifted when it comes to sports, so one learner might take an interest in these camps as an alternative to staying fit.” Kadhila adds that the training camps at schools might also prove to be an opportunity for children to make new friends, and learn about teamwork, perseverance, endurance, determination and achieving goals, all of which can be beneficial to their lives.

    “It is also essential to understand that in order for a child to become more involved in physical activity, it is necessary to remove other habits. With teenagers, it can become more challenging when the internet is included as we are living in a modern world.

    “Most of our youth are very involved with social networks and this can consume several more hours a week. This is why it is so important to promote healthy habits early on.” Kadhila also explained that the fitness camp will also act as an activity for the youth to prevent them from engaging in unlawful and negative acts like drinking alcohol and using drugs, because they have nothing to do. “Since we are more stimulated by visuals, we want to engage with the youth more on social media and post a lot of videos and photos of our fitness camp so that this can be a virtual invite to the youngsters as it more motivating to see what other young people are doing,” added Kadhila.

    Letlhagoje added that one their challenges experienced so far with the fitness camps was finding a venue. “When we started, our camps were hosted in parks and during that time, we experienced a lot of distractions and obstacles.”

    Kadhila explained that what has stood out the most for them is actually seeing their results and seeing how much progress their clients have made. Fueze Fitness meets four times a week and during the weekend on Saturdays as well.

    “During the week, the training is more intense and involves more body movement. On Saturdays, it is more relaxed in the sense of we go for hikes and also do some yoga.

    “We try to mix and match the activities over the week,” the two explained. Kadhila and Letlhagoje concluded, saying their fitness is for both young and old and being fit is the one the best activities one can invest in at the moment. You can find Feuze Fitness on Facebook.



    TUNOHOLE MUNGOBA

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  • 07/10/17--16:00: A dialogue with school girls
  • A dialogue with school girlsA dialogue with school girlsThe sanitary pad debate takes off Pupils from A. Shipena Secondary School in Katutura and Acacia High School in Khomasdal share how not having sanitary pads affect their school work. Talking publicly about women's menstruation in general has long been taboo, especially in African homes. This week, The Zone spoke to five girls from A. Shipena and Acacia high schools to find out what the conditions at their schools and communities are regarding the access to sanitary pads among school girls.

    Victoria !Nau-Gawases, a pupil from A. Shipena Secondary School, shared that menstruation cycle in general plays a role in the academic performance of girls to a certain extent – although not entirely. “The discomfort alone that comes with being on your period deters you from fully concentrating in class,” !Nau-Gawases said. She explained that girls sometimes are forced to skip classes because they do not have sanitary pads. Due to the lack of sanitary pads, !Nau-Gawases said that sometimes girls resort to using unsanitary and sometimes unsafe measures such as toilet paper and creating makeshift pads from old clothes because they cannot afford the correct product. “This too, poses a health hazard because there might be germs on these makeshift pads from old clothes that we use instead of pads,” she said. !Nau-Gawases also added that using toilet paper or sometimes even handkerchiefs is really uncomfortable because these alternatives do not hold blood for a long period of time, thus leaking is easy. “This means girls cannot concentrate in class because they are worried of soiling their uniform and being made fun of by boys in class,” she said. !Nau-Gawases also explained that in communities with a lot of low-income families, girls and women often lack the access to sanitary pads, and the consequences they endure as a result have only recently begun to receive serious attention.

    Describing the condition at her school regarding access to sanitary pads, Olivia Mwetuhanga, 16, also from A. Shipena, shared that at her school their Life Skills teacher does talk to them about sanitary pads but not as often as they do teach them about HIV and Aids and the use of condoms. “Although we are taught about these things, we do not really talk about sanitary pads among ourselves more often because a lot of girls consider it to be private,” Mwetuhanga said. Mwetuhanga proposed that boys should be taught to understand that the menstruation circle is a natural process that happens to every girl and thus they should not make fun of girls when they are on their period. “Sometimes girls stay at home not because they do not have pads but because boys make fun of them and sometimes other girls also gossip about them,” said Mwetuhanga.

    Consolatha Uiras also from A. Shipena said that the issue of girls using clothes and toilet paper is not only a problem at her school, but a lot of girls who cannot afford sanitary pads generally resort to the same alternatives. Uiras recommends that schools should start warning girls about the dangers of using toilet paper and clothes, suggesting that schools should put aside money for sanitary pads from their annual grants that they receive from the government. “Instead of sending girls home when they are on their period, schools can provide these girls with sanitary pads so that girls do not miss classes because of not having sanitary pads,” Uiras said. She added that just like there are free condoms, sanitary pads should also be distributed for free especially to school-going girls. “We cannot continue having girls missing classes because of not having sanitary pads,” she said.

    Uiras applauds her teachers for all they do to help girls during their mensuration cycle, but condemns teachers sending girls home when they are on their period, maintaining that anything can happen to a girl when she has to walk home alone. “I understand that you are looking out for us, but as teachers you are entrusted to take care of us until 13:00. Sending us home is not a good solution because a girl can get raped on her way home alone,” she said. Uiras says there are learners that have to walk as far as Babylon and One Nation and are thus walking long distances when they are on their period worsens the pain.

    On the other hand Vickey (not her real name) from Acacia High School shared that at her school Life Science and Life Skills teachers do talk to them about sanitary pads. “Sanitary pads are not something we necessarily avoid discussing at my school,” she said. Another girl from Acacia High School who preferred to remain anonymous shared that at Acacia High School there are two counsellors who help learners with social problems including the access to sanitary pads among school girls. Just like learners from A. Ashipena, learners from Acacia also feel that sanitary pads should be made available for free for school girls. “Sanitary pads should be distributed for free because a lot of girls cannot afford them and it contributes to their absenteeism and teachers should not downplay the impact that sanitary pads provision has on school attendance,” she said.

    MICHAEL KAYUNDE

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  • 07/10/17--16:00: Trying to save a buck
  • Trying to save a buckTrying to save a buck I have read almost every article on the internet that tells you how you can go about saving your money. I know the ABCs of saving money. If there is one thing I live for, it is saving money. I am really very cheap. I even dedicated my past two years to saving more money. “Saving money” and positive spending habits are part of my vocabulary. I live and exist just to save me some mula.

    I am the go-to guy for most of my friends when they need finance tips on how they can save their money and how best they can do so. I buy in bulk so I do not have to buy every time. I withdraw the whole amount of cash that I will need for a certain period of time because I do not want withdrawal charges from the bank mos. I am very inexpensive and very economical and I am proud about it. I do not buy branded items anymore; my friends buy those expensive things for me now. I know every nook and cranny when it comes to my finances. I know how much I will spend in the next two weeks, I know how much I will spend on my dates, I know how much I will be losing if I spend money on things I did not budget for this whole month… hence, I have a budget for overdrafts on my budget. I've even spoken to my business connect about how the inflation may ruin all my financial plans this year. I have a “connect” at every shop you name it, retail shops, butchery and even the clothing ones. I do whatever it takes to make sure that I do not spend money recklessly, but one thing I have made so far is not try to save that money. Sure I have heard about the various accounts and how you can open them and use them to save some money but I have never been bothered to open one.

    I think the reason I do not have a savings account is because I have never needed one before. My friend tells me I'll need one for “a rainy day or that day when there is just an emergency”. But I have a contingency and emergency budget plan already so I have never needed a savings account. But things have changed I have realised that I need to save a little more than I do. I need to save more because I want to travel and explore our beautiful country at some stage, even our continent and later the world. I have realised I will have to open that savings account to reach my travel and leisure goals. The problem though is that some of our financial advisors or sales agents do not really explain the terms and conditions of opening these accounts properly to me and I thus usually lose interest when they mention some of these investments accounts that I mention.

    There is a need for financial stability that I yearn for and I think I can only achieve that with a savings account. Many of the people who have these accounts themselves do not know the benefits of their accounts or how they work, but they still opened them and I am not one to do that. That is why I need to ensure that I am knowledgeable about where my money goes and how it will benefit me in the near future. I know a few people who have fallen prey to dubious investment deals that involved the buying and selling of stock and I do not want to end up like them, that is why I am so keen on saving.

    I will be dedicating the next few days trying to look for ways to save my money in such a way that it would be favourable to me. Maybe I will get enough tips and advice on how to cut down on my spending habits I will find myself somewhere enjoying my company on one of my planned travel adventures.



    Until next time. Peri nawa



    shona@namibiansun.com

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  • 07/10/17--16:00: Dying 'Mother Ganga'
  • Dying 'Mother Ganga'Dying 'Mother Ganga'India's holy river succumbs to pollution India's holy river, the Ganges, is being systematically polluted by raw sewage, tanneries and other pollutants. India's holy Ganges begins as a crystal clear river high in the icy Himalayas but pollution and excessive usage transforms it into toxic sludge on its journey through burgeoning cities, industrial hubs and past millions of devotees.

    Worshipped by a billion Hindus and a water source for 400 million years, “Mother Ganga” is dying, despite decades of government efforts to save it.

    Lokesh Sharma, a 19-year-old priest in Devprayag, a small hill town where two rivers converge to form the Ganges, is his family's fourth generation to lead riverbank prayers.

    “I never thought of going somewhere else and settling. Devprayag is a heaven for me. I feel blessed to be born next to Mother Ganges,” Sharma said, as chanting priests and devotees, some bottling the water, dunk themselves in the fast-flowing river.

    Thousands of Indians immerse themselves and idols of their gods every day, believing a dip in the Ganges absolves a lifetime of sins. People drink the water and use it for crops.

    But the pristine waters soon becomes a distant memory as the 2 525 km-long Ganges snakes its way down to the densely populated plains of north India, where too much water is sucked out to maintain a healthy flow.

    Sliding under bridges in the industrial city of Kanpur, the water's colour turns dark grey.

    Industrial waste and sewage pour in from open drains, as clouds of foam float on its surface.

    At one stretch, the river turns red.

    Nearby, tannery workers haul chemical-soaked buffalo hides into huge drums. The filthy run-off is dumped in the river.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has pledged to build more treatment plants and move more than 400 tanneries away from the river, but his US$3 billion clean-up plan is badly behind schedule.

    Less than a quarter of an estimated 4 800 million litres of sewage that flow daily into the river from main towns and cities is treated.

    The sorry state of the Ganges is most keenly felt in Varanasi, the ancient and most holy of cities for Hindus.

    Religious students practise yoga, pilgrims seek spiritual purification and families cremate their dead by the water's edge, scattering ashes so that souls go to heaven and escape the cycle of rebirth.

    Along the bathing ghats, prayers invoking followers to keep the Ganges clean fill the hot evening air.

    “I remember earlier the water was very clean and we could drink it,” said 58-year-old boatman Anil Sahni. “Now you can't even bathe in it.”

    As the river widens it curves southwards, towards the Bay of Bengal, passing thousands more villages and swelling cities. In the 14-million strong metropolis of Kolkata, people bathe and brush their teeth next to towering mounds of rubbish. On the outskirts, brick kilns and factories line the river banks.

    Downstream, a packed ferry sets off for Sagar Island, or Ganga Sagar, a magnet for Hindu pilgrims that marks the point where the Ganges meets the sea.

    “I feel sad about what's happening around us. The Ganges is getting dirty day by day but nobody cares. Not even its children,” said 66-year-old priest Ashok Kumar in Mirzapur, a riverside carpet and brass ware hub.

    “The Ganges is our mother. There won't be any future if she dies.”

    NAMPA/REUTERS

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    Scattered violations of south Syria ceasefireScattered violations of south Syria ceasefire Frontlines across three provinces in southern Syria remained mostly quiet on Monday almost 24 hours into an internationally brokered ceasefire for the region despite scattered violations, a monitor said.

    The United States, Russia and Jordan last week agreed on a ceasefire for Syria's Daraa, Quneitra and Sweida provinces that went into effect at noon local time on Sunday.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said the ceasefire appeared to be largely holding but reported sporadic incidents of violence mostly in Daraa.

    The monitor said two shells fired by regime forces had landed on the town of Saida in eastern Daraa overnight, while rebels and government forces had exchanged fire in the village of Al-Naeema in the same province.

    Another two regime shells were fired into the Al-Balad area in the Daraa province and brief clashes erupted in the provincial capital Daraa city overnight but quickly stopped, the monitor added.

    In Quneitra province, there were also reports of sporadic exchanges of fire, though there were no casualties in any of the incidents, the monitor said.

    “There are minor violations that do not affect the ceasefire,” said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

    “In general there is quiet in the three provinces.”

    Syria's government had already declared its own unilateral ceasefire in the area last week, but fighting had continued.

    Sunday's ceasefire went into effect just ahead of new peace talks in Geneva, which begin later Monday.

    More than 320 000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

    NAMPA/AFP

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  • 07/10/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day ORGANISED: People's Liberation Army soldiers prepare for the arrival of China's President Xi Jinping at barracks in Hong Kong on 30 June 2017. Xi arrived in Hong Kong on 29 June for a three-day visit to mark the 20th anniversary of the city's handover from British to Chinese rule and to inaugurate new chief executive Carrie Lam on 1 July. NAMPA/AFP

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  • 07/10/17--16:00: Shot of the day
  • Shot of the dayShot of the day ORGANISED: People's Liberation Army soldiers prepare for the arrival of China's President Xi Jinping at barracks in Hong Kong on 30 June 2017. Xi arrived in Hong Kong on 29 June for a three-day visit to mark the 20th anniversary of the city's handover from British to Chinese rule and to inaugurate new chief executive Carrie Lam on 1 July. NAMPA/AFP

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  • 07/10/17--16:00: If you fail to plan…
  • If you fail to plan…If you fail to plan… As voters, maybe we should consider making it mandatory for the leaders we vote into power to lead our countries, to have project management knowledge. Politics and leading are synonymous with project management. Project management experts attribute the successful of a project to this popular saying: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This saying resonates with truth when we look around not only at our faltering economies in Africa, but also around the globe. Running a country is like managing a project. A good plan is needed to run a country efficiently and profitably as the tenets of project management dictate. This is doable only if the president and his governance team are efficient to deliver national goals and share the same vision. Regionally and continentally, bad governance and sinking economies of one country have had devastating effects on neighbouring countries, threatening their very survival and good governance. Millions of people losing jobs in their countries due to faltering economies have sought solace and survival in neighbouring countries. While we preach the spirit of brotherhood, the competition for resources that ensue when citizens of a neighbouring country migrate to another, has proved fatal. South Africa has experienced the worst migrant conflicts. Its citizens, driven by extreme territoriality, have attacked foreigners murdering and looting their businesses and straining relations forever, in some cases. If leaders of each country would lead their countries efficiently as good project managers, whose citizens would jump boarders and eat in their neighbours’ houses? We believe in the theory that for every challenge, there is a root cause. Bad governance has exposed desperate citizens to exploitation and suffering, emotionally, physically and sexually. Social media exposes gruelling stories and visuals daily, of migrant workers tortured after falling victim to online scammers offering them lucrative jobs. Good governance is key to economic prosperity and the safety of its citizens. Tanzania’s John Mugufuli has demonstrated this classically and Charles Darwin summed it well with his saying: “It’s not the strongest who survive or the most intelligent but, the ones most responsive to change.” Mugufuli’s zero tolerance to corruptions has made Tanzania a luminous icon of good governance in Africa.

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  • 07/10/17--16:00: Social media endangers lives
  • Social media endangers livesSocial media endangers livesInformation minister warns users to be aware Speaking in the Oshana Region, information minister Tjekero Tweya has warned users of social media against disseminating fake news and providing too much personal information. The minister of information communication and technology (ICT) says people using social media platforms end up endangering not only their lives but that of fellow countrymen and -women.

    Tweya made the remarks at the weekend when he was addressing the community of Ompundja and Onyeka villages in the Oshana Region.

    Tweya made reference to people who use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp to share their location, saying criminals use such information to break into their homes and rob them of their valuables.

    “If you do not use the technology for the right reasons you end up endangering your own life and that of your family,” Tweya warned.

    “For example, you post a picture of yourself in Windhoek enjoying yourself at Heroes' Acre and when criminals have access to this information, they will use that information to go and rob your home and if your children are at home, you will have endangered their lives,” Tweya further said.

    He therefore cautioned Namibians saying, as much as they want to share information on social media platforms, people should be careful about what they share.

    Tweya further said what is known as “fake news” comes from the fact that everyone has become a journalist in Namibia and he warned people to be careful about the information they consume from social media platforms.

    He added that apart from tarnishing other people's lives, all sorts of negative and fake news that is put out on these platforms put everyone at risk.

    “We should be careful about the information we have access to and as people we should learn to assess information and make informed decisions,” Tweya said.

    “It is not always that you get the correct information and some of this information is a risk to the security of the state where you endanger the lives of fellow citizens,” the minister said.

    Regarding access to information, Tweya also used the opportunity to inform the community about government's efforts to have 100% telecommunication network coverage in the country.

    He said the project will commence in the current financial year. The regions have been divided into four clusters to roll out this programme.

    The minister said it will not take another 27 years before the country can have all corners of the country connected saying that it will take a shorter period.

    Tweya said priority will be given to all constituency offices throughout the regions.

    “This is not an empty promise by the party, we will deliver and it will be delivered. We fought for the development of the country, we are doing it and we will continue doing it,” Tweya promised.

    KENYA KAMBOWE

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