OMUTHIYA - The Omuthiya Town Council has unveiled its plans to upgrade its roads to bitumen standard in an effort to add value to, beautify and market the town.
This, according to CEO of the town, Samuel Mbango, will unlock new business opportunities, as it will enable travellers to explore the town, as opposed to the current state in which they do not venture into the town and the surrounding areas, due to the state of the roads that are gravel.
The cost however remains unknown.
“We have established that some travellers passing through our town are hesitant to drive around the town due to our current road infrastructure. Therefore, we have resolved to start tarring the roads in order to give them an opportunity to view possibilities in town, with the hope to attract investments,” stated Mbango, adding this project is likely to begin during the 2020 financial year, as soon as they complete the servicing of land which is underway.
Highlighting some of the developmental projects to be executed, Mbango said in July council will start fencing off the area earmarked for the multi-million-dollar open market, as part of phase one. “During this financial year we have managed to buy the needed materials for fencing off the area. We did this to reduce the cost, compared to giving out a wholly complete tender, hence we will only outsource services for labour,” elaborated Mbango.
Some vendors at the town have expressed their support for the new venture.
The mixed-use market will likely cost about N$50 million once wholly complete, and will include cold storage facilities and compartments for each trading stall.
“Next year we will then construct a big shaded area where those willing to move from the current omatara can be accommodated. The cost is high due to the magnitude of the project, although it will be built in phases as per available funds,” he added.
Furthermore, he touched on the issue of the recreational park saying it is still on the cards, and they are scouting for partners to invest. The park will include a swimming pool, amphitheatre, 30-roomed bed and breakfast, as well as a restaurant.
The CEO added that due to other pressing priorities, the council is at the moment unable to pay much attention to the recreational park. Council has been looking at entering into public-private partnership agreements, but it is not working out due to power struggles over ownership.
“There are investors that have shown interest, but we differed on the issue of ownership; they want to own the land and run the facility which council cannot agree to. We are considering the option of a lease agreement, in which the investor can run the commercial part for a certain period until they recoup what they have invested,” he said, adding the project is still open for discussion.
The facility is estimated to cost about N$2 million