RUNDU – Government, through the Roads Authority and the Road Fund Administration, is set to commence with the rehabilitation of phase 3 of a portion of the Trans-Zambezi Highway in the Kavango East region.
The then Trans-Caprivi Highway was constructed between 1988 and 1994 and has exceeded its 20 years design period by over 10 years. The condition of the road also deteriorated due to the good rainfall Namibia has received in this area and the high frequency of heavy vehicles.
Thus, the Roads Authority commenced the rehabilitation of the road in August 2021. Phases 1 and 2 which covered a combined total of 23.5 kilometres were successfully completed.
“Our government through the RFA will fully fund the rehabilitation to the tune of N$194 million. Construction work will commence on 1 July and the project period is 16 months,’’ works and transport minister John Mutorwa said yesterday during the groundbreaking ceremony held on the outskirts of Rundu.
“Phase 3, will cover a total of 78 kilometres. This road forms part of the greater Trunk Road 8, which stretches from Otavi in central Namibia to Ngoma on the Botswana border, south of Katima Mulilo,” Mutorwa noted.
The highway completes the road link between Walvis Bay and neighbouring Zambia, providing a vital trade route to that country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Zimbabwe.
It also forms part of the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor. This route is most notably used for transporting copper from mines in northern Zambia and southern DRC to the Port of Walvis Bay.
“The Namibian government is fully committed to ensure that the road network in our country is constructed to the highest standards and maintained regularly in order to facilitate commercial trade throughout Namibia and to improve mobility and safety of all road users in the country,’’ Mutorwa stated.
The works minister further stated that the rehabilitation of this road will have a positive impact on the socio-economy of the surrounding areas and the entire Namibian population will benefit from the safe access.
“It is the objective of the Namibian government to continue striving to rehabilitate and develop major road links, in order to attract meaningful investment. Thus, our gathering here today is testimony to that commitment,” he said.
Following a bidding process, China Henan International Cooperation Group Co. Ltd, a Namibian-registered company, was awarded the tender while Element Consulting Engineers are the consultants.
“Most of you are aware that Namibia has a high unemployment rate. Thus, I am very happy to share with you that the implementation of this project will result in employment creation and the transfer of skills to the local population. I have been informed that the project will provide approximately 100 jobs to Namibians living in this area and all construction material will be sourced from local suppliers,’’ said Mutorwa.