& Dephine Simasiku
IMPALILA - Driving around Impalila Island has been a daunting challenge due to its rocky surface, which becomes muddy and sticky, particularly during the rainy season.
However, this will be something of the past after works minister John Mutorwa officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony of the low-volume seal road to be constructed at Impalila Island in the Zambezi region last week.
The N$60 million, 25-kilometre project will include the construction of minor access roads to public institutions.
Mutorwa said these roads will be constructed to gravel road standards, and subsequently to low-volume seal standards over a period of two years.
“Once the upgrading is completed, a wide range of benefits will be created. These include a reduction in poverty through employment creation during the construction period. Furthermore, the completed roads will promote trade and tourism. In a nutshell, these roads will significantly improve the lives of the Impalila Island people,” he stated.
The road will be constructed by Nexus Civils, the company which is also busy constructing the Namalubi-Isize-Luhonono road.
Impalila Island is situated at the far-eastern point of the former Caprivi strip, now known as the Zambezi region. It borders three countries, namely Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, and is completely surrounded by three rivers, being Zambezi to the north, Kasaya to the west, and Chobe to the south.
The island is only accessible by boat from Kasika to Impalila harbour during the dry season. In addition to that, accessibility to the island can also be undertaken via District Road 3524 (Nakabolelwa- Mbalasinte- Kasika), which is approximately 35 kilometres and is an earth track through the flood plains.
Meanwhile, the works minister also announced that “plans are underway to upgrade District Road 3524 to gravel road standards.”
Impalila area’s induna Imelda Muluti stated that the construction of the road
will be a huge relief to the people of Impalila.
“I am very happy because we are
always struggling a lot. Especially when it rains, you cannot travel by car, only by foot. But the problem is that even by foot, it gets muddy and is difficult,” she said.