• October 1st, 2020

Oshikoto roads to cost RA N$1.4 billion

Roads Authority (RA) intends to spend N$1.4 billion in Oshikoto region as a remedial financial measure to upgrade poor road infrastructure in the region, with a larger chunk of the sum to upgrade the B1 freeway from Omuthiya to Oshakati to a dual carriageway. 
Conrad Lutombi, the CEO of RA, said N$1 billion will go towards the dual carriage and a sum of N$300 million to N$400 million will be spent to upgrade to gravel standards four road networks mainly in Eenghodi and Nehale Lya Mpingana. 

This will be a relief for the inhabitants that have, for years, bemoaned the poor road infrastructures with some areas having inaccessible roads, making it difficult for the masses to access the most basic of services. On the same note, the planned new dual carriageway will ease the number of road accidents that continue to cause the unnecessary loss of lives.

Lutombi spoke on the sidelines during a courtesy call of the governor of the Oshikoto region, Penda Ya Ndakolo, briefing him about plans to construct a 50-kilometre gravel road in Mangeti West on the Casablanca-Elavi route to cost approximately N$70 million. 
 “We are set to complete the remaining 50km phase of the stretch that is from Onalusheshete to Elavi; Work should have begun in April but due to Covid-19, there was a delay. However, contractors are busy setting up sites and clearing shadow roads; thus, we anticipate by this week that work will commence. This is a labour force project where employment opportunities will be created for the community. This project is set for completion in August next year,” explained the CEO of RA.
He said other projects, which include Omuthiya-Elambo, Luwaya-Elavi, Oupili-Onkumbula, as well as the dual carriageway, will only commence from next year going forward. 

Part of the road financing will be made possible through a loan sourced from the Kreditanstall fur Wiederaufbau (KFW), the German state-owned development bank.

On the other hand, Ya Ndakolo wanted to know why the King Kauluma to Okongo road is not featuring on the current RA plans – to which Lutombi said it is integrated into the strategic plan, but it is not considered a priority for now. “The road is still on our radar and it is considered one of the biggest projects that will be upgraded to bitumen to shorten distances.”
“We are done with a plan and detailed design of this project from Omuthiya up to Onethindi. At the moment we are busy with the design of Onethindi to Oshakati. This road will include a bypass of Ondangwa on the south of the town. This is a big project and is likely to cost a lot,” Lutombi informed the Oshikoto regional governor.

On the contentious issue regarding the planned bypass for Omuthiya, the RA CEO said, the local authority reached consensus and aborted the plan but instead, it opted to follow the current road channel that will be expanded. 
He also said people that built onto road reserves after the designing and planning with the hope to get compensation will not be paid. – osimasiku@nepc.com.na

Obrien Simasiku
2020-06-30 11:26:15 | 3 months ago

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