Mutorwa: Transport is fundamental

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Mutorwa: Transport is fundamental

CASAVA – Investment in roads is important in stimulating economic growth and job creation in all regions, works and transport minister John Mutorwa has said.

Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony to commence work to improve district road (DR) 3446 (Charlie Cutline) at the Casava village in Kavango West on Thursday, Mutorwa said government aims to improve accessibility to rural areas in all regions, where more than 80% of the population live in scattered homesteads.

“Construction of roads provide much-needed opportunities for the villagers to be connected to other groups of society, which in turn, instils in them a sense of being part of the national economic mainstream,” he noted.

The minister further emphasised that a safe and efficient road network is important to facilitate growth in other sectors of the economy such as agriculture and tourism.

DR3446, which starts at Casava, some 70km to Rundu, is a vital artery that connects the Kavango West, Kavango East, Oshikoto and Ohangwena regions.

In the Kavango West, this road runs through approximately 95 farms, numerous schools and clinics. The betterment works of this sandy road will be divided into three phases. Phase 1, covers the first 40km, will include clearing, forming and adding the first layer of gravel on the road to make it trafficable. The same road improvements will be done in phase 2, which will cover 50km of the road. Phase 3 will conclude the project, with the remaining 48km which ends at Helavi. 

Phase 1 of this project is funded by the Namibian government via the Road Fund Administration (RFA) to the tune of approximately N$29.8 million and the construction period is six months.

RoadHart CC has been appointed for this project, while the RA will be responsible for the overall supervision and management.

Roads Authority (RA) CEO Conrad Lutombi stated that this road has been on their priority list for upgrade for many years, but could not be achieved earlier due to the economic downturn.

In future, the RA plans to upgrade this road to low volume seal standard as funds become available, he noted. 

“More projects are lined up here in the Kavango West region to upgrade roads to low volume seal standard in this financial year. This includes the road from Nkurenkuru to Nepara Clinic over 28km, and from Mburuuru to Mutjokotjo over 33km,” Lutombi noted.

On her part, Kavango West governor Sirkka Ausiku said this road is of utmost importance as it connects many Kavango West communities to schools and health facilities, and it is surrounded by many small-scale farming units. 

“We cannot expect our farmers to produce more and be able to take their produce to the market if there are no proper roads. Our request is that we don’t want this project abandoned halfway, because that will affect the livelihood of our community members,” she said.

On Friday, Mutorwa also officiated at the ground breaking of the 50km Ncaute-Karukuvisa gravel road in Kavango East that will be constructed over a period of 12 months at the total cost of N$28,7 million. It is fully funded by the RFA. Danny’s Building Construction CC was awarded the tender. –