Easter is upon us and as usual it has come with plenty of reasons to jump up in celebration. Some people are looking forward to attending all the church events in the spirit of Good Friday, for some it is holiday while for some it will be family gathering time. Needless to say, there are scores of Namibians who find themselves in the midst of drinking crowds every day from Friday to Monday in contravention of Easter’s meaning and then wonder what hit them financially afterwards along with concerns of road accidents or robbery. Therefore, to ensure that people make it through Easter safe and sound, there are a number of things that need to be taken care of.
Be road safe
Easter weekend is one of the busiest weekends on the road and it pays to take a few precautions to ensure that you arrive at your destination safely. The City Police spokesperson, Cillie Auala urges those who are going to travel out of town to ensure that they check their vehicle fitness. “Make sure that your tyres are not worn out because these are some of the things that we overlook. However this is a major contributing factor when it comes to road accidents. Also your wipers must be working, your tyres must not be worn out and your indicating lights must be working,” she said.
Cillie further cautions drivers to refrain from speeding and definitely drinking and driving citing that they are the major concerns. “Also, make sure that you wear your seatbelt and do not leave town without checking with the Windhoek city police if you have any outstanding warrant of arrests.We are going to have traffic officers at all the Windhoek exit points and that may just interrupt your holiday plans,” she cautioned.
“If you haven’t checked your post office box in a long time you would not know, so just come to our office with your license or your ID or your car registration number and then we will see if there are any outstanding warrant of arrests because you might find yourself being arrested at the road block.”
She also highlighted alcohol as one of the contributing factors when it comes to accidents, saying that it’s the time of the year when people celebrate and so tend to over drink. “It is important that the shebeens or the liquor outlets adhere to the liquor acts and all the regulations municipal by laws,” said Cillie. Shebeens must be closed on public holidays.
Keep your house safe
House breaking is on increase and it’s a crime of concern at the moment and according to the City Police statistics most of the houses which are being broken into
are the ones that are left unattended. Cillie urges residents who are going to travel for this holiday to make sure that they do not leave their houses unattended. “If they have to travel at least there must be some form of security in place. If not, we are urging them to come to the city police and tell us that they are going to be away for holiday and we will be able to keep an eye on their property.
We are not going to guarantee 24 hour security but somehow when we are doing our patrol and planning we will then be able to know that a particular property is unoccupied, and then we will keep an eye now and then,” she said. In addition, Cillie also noted that it is important for residents to inform their neighbours and the Neighbourhood Watch associations to keep an eye on their properties.
Be financial savvy
As is customary, many people will take leave of their financial senses and overspend during Easter holiday. However, by planning and not going off the beaten path one can discover that less can actually be more. As part of the planning, Francois Brand, the secretariat manager of the Financial Literacy Institution advises that what is important is to avoid committing to spending too much over the holiday. “It is important for people to look after the money that they have and to service unproductive debts rather than just having a good time,” he said.
“Avoid unnecessary gifts, keeping it simple and remembering why we have Easter would be more important to focus on. It’s not supposed to be a financial monetary holiday, it’s supposed to be a time for reflection on some of the things that we believe in,” said Francois.
The other issue of concern is the ATM fraud and the City Police advises that when one is withdrawing their money they shouldn’t trust any stranger to be closer by. “Keep your pin safe and if you need any help there are always security guards at ATMs to assist,” said Cillie.
City Police assures residents that they will do the best they can to keep the city safe. “We have operations in and around the city definitely and we would make sure that we’ll keep it safe although people are driving out,” assured Cillie.
With a little imagination, Easter entertainment can be affordable. People can simply have short trips with their friends and families or by sitting around an outdoor fire in the village and catching up with their family members over a late night barbecue, the holiday cost can be greatly cut in a refreshing way.