NKURENKURU – Bad or non-existent roads in the Kavango West Region remain a huge concern as this continues to make life difficult for residents.
This is according to the regional leaders who, during a recent courtesy meeting with Works and Transport Minister John Mutorwa at Nkurenkuru, pleaded that government construct more feeder roads and improve the deplorable existing road networks in the region.
They indicated that the lack of feeder roads and poor road infrastructure networks especially in the inland is a daily challenge to residents, especially to farmers who find it very difficult to transport their produce to the markets.
“Our main concern here is we do not have feeder roads, and knowing that our region is 99.9 percent rural, we depend on subsistence farming and if we can have these feeder roads it will uplift the living standards of our people, particularly marketing our produce from communal farmers,” said Mpasi Haingura the director of general services who briefed the minister on the state of the road infrastructures in the region.
Haingura further expressed with dismay that the current strategic plan of Roads Authority does not speak to the needs of the region, particularly on feeder roads. “In terms of rural infrastructure development, we are feeling that we are really being left out. This is a concern we have observed since independence because the number of feeder roads that have been constructed within the two Kavango regions can be counted,” he added. The region also called for the graveling of the heavy sandy road, D3446 known as Charlie Cutline in the inland, which runs through farms in four constituencies.
Apart from this, there are also existing gravel roads that the region want to see extended, such as the Harapembe road that runs from the Rundu-Elundu road to be extended to connect to Charlie Cutline and the Kamupupu-Mburu-uru road in Tondoro Constituency to be extended at least up to Carikawo village in the same constituency. Mutorwa on his side admitted to the lack of feeder roads in the region and that it is a concern he and his team will look into.
“With regards to feeder roads in both the Kavango West and Kavango East, but so also other regions, I am quite familiar with the situation,” he said.
Mankumpi Constituency councillor and Swapo Member of Parliament Lukas Muha on the sidelines of the meeting stated that due to the lack of accessible feeder roads, they are forced to drive 275 kilometres from their constituency to the region’s capital, Nkurenkuru. He explained that this journey could be much short if a feeder road that directly links his constituency to Nkurenkuru is accessible.
He said sometimes, sick villagers are subjected to suffering by travelling through the Charlie Cutline road to access health services, and thus he emphasised the need to gravel the Charlie Cutline.