OMUTHIYA – Severe storm lashed Omuthiya on Friday, causing massive damage to the regional police headquarters. The storm ripped off the roof of the N$280 million administration block, while solar panels and official vehicles also suffered damage.
This is the third time that a storm has caused substantial damage. New Era is informed that in December last year, a similar incident happened when the roof was blown off and contractors had to be called in for repairs. In January 2018, and five months before the building was officially inaugurated by President Hage Geingob, a heavy storm also battered the structure.
The state-of-the-art headquarters comprise houses for staff, a police station with holding cells and a canteen as well as recreational facilities.
Regional police commander Armas Shivute said the Chinese contractor China Jiangxi International Namibia was called to assess and fix the damage. Shivute has in the past attributed the damage to poor workmanship on the part of the contractor.
A police officer told New Era on condition of anonymity that water leakages were a common sight at the regional headquarters. “We really do not know how water gets in. The next thing one will see is water flowing in the offices and corridors.
Whenever there is wind, we are told windows should be closed, and that is the scary part because the building would be shaking and some people run outside for their safety,” the source said. “The building is not safe at all, someone really needs to step in otherwise we are waiting to experience massive deaths,” added the source.
When approached for comment, Shivute said he would not dwell much on the defects until the experts have pronounced themselves. “Experts will be here Monday (today) to assess and give a technical opinion. For now I will say the Chinese employees were here to fix here and there. The water issue you are referring to has been resolved, so let’s wait for the experts or else I will give wrong information,” he said.