OMUNTELE – Angry residents of Omuntele have rejected the promise of the Roads Authority (RA) to only rehabilitate and re-gravel the Engoyi-Omuntele road that is in a bad state, causing displeasure to motorists.
The 15km stretch is in a sorry state and a grey layer is visible on the road that was constructed in 2008, a sign it is in a deplorable condition. The community argue that not even regular rehabilitation is a solution.
The community claim that frequent accidents occur on the road due to its roughness and that the situation is worse during the rainy season when it is covered with water and becomes inaccessible.
Based on that they insist the RA should find ways to construct a new tarred road as a matter of urgency, failure of which residents have threatened to take to the streets in protest.
RA northern region engineer Kennedy Chigumira in a meeting on Wednesday said the RA is considering reconstruction of the road but it would be re-gravelled while funds are solicited for a tarred road in future.
The engineer acknowledged the bad state of the road but added the RA was still awaiting feedback on the proposed tenders for road construction that was submitted two years back to the Central Procurement Board of Namibia.
“We submitted our proposal for tenders to fix and upgrade roads in the region about two years ago, but since then nothing has come forth. However, as a last resort, considering how bad this is, RA will move to emergency procurement … to address the situation,” he said, adding that by November or December it should be restored.
This exercise will cost approximately N$7 million based on the cost estimate that a kilometre of road costs around N$420 000 to construct. Furthermore, Chigumira said constructing a tarred road now is a challenge as it is not catered for under RA’s road strategic plan that ends in 2023.
On the other hand, he said, it will require political backing as well as support from the Ministry of Works and Transport if construction of a new tarred road is to be considered beyond the scope of the strategic plan.
The constituency councillor Sackeus Nangula was castigated by residents who accused him of failing to address their plight for years despite him being part of the regional road construction committee.