WINDHOEK - Despite the fact that recent floods in the Zambezi have been a blessing in disguise for local communities, they have caused destruction to some road infrastructure.
Historically in the region during floods there have been a lot of delays in major multi-million projects that often came to a standstill, as the areas were no longer accessible by contractors.
Some of the major roads that were washed away include the Izimwe-Nakabolelwa, Namalubi-Isize-Luhonono road, and the Ngoma-Ibbu road.
In an interview with New Era yesterday, Zambezi Governor Lawrence Sampofu said the culverts of the roads leading to the Kabbe-flood prone areas were completely washed away.
He noted the damaged roads have been under construction since 2014 but due to recurring floods there have always been delays. The affected roads are being constructed by Nexus.
“Some of culverts were damaged because of the floods. The whole road from Izimwe to Luhonono was under water,” he said.
According to him, the contractor is now back to square one, and they have to start all over by designing new bridges and culverts.
Sampofu earlier told New Era that Section A covers the road from Namalubi to Isize including the access road to the Kalimbeza rice farm, which is 24 km long. In the past, he noted the contactor has only been working on Section A.
During this year’s floods, he explained, they did not experience any water overtopping the road on Section A, however, the culverts at kilometre 11 at Lisikili and Simusune were flowing at full capacity.
He said it’s unlikely that the damaged roads will be completed this year.
He explained that Section B, which covers Isize to Luhonono, will only be worked on once the construction of Section A is done in early 2019.
“The RA (Roads Authority), taking into account the local knowledge, has revised drainage designs to include more culverts and three big bridges across the deeper and bigger channels,” he said.
He revealed that the construction of Ishuwa bridge which is used by residents in the flood-prone areas of Kabbe South constituency, has been completed by the RA.
The bridge is also to improve access to government facilities, as well as improve the access and mobility of the local community, especially during the rainy season and times of heavy flooding.
Since 1990, residents of Kabbe have been cut off from essential government services, such as health facilities, education, home affairs and immigration offices, as well as social grants, among others.