WINDHOEK - The damaged stairs at the Ruacana waterfalls in Omusati continue to be an eyesore to tourists and locals alike but the authorities seemingly do not want to take responsibility for their maintenance.
The acting chief regional officer in the Omusati Regional Council, Gervasius Kashindi, yesterday told New Era the “decay and deteriorating” state of the stairs leading to the river are an “eyesore”.
“We are worried about public safety,” said Kashindi. The stairs have not been maintained or cared for in a very long time and during the rainy season the situation only gets worse, Kashindi explained.
However, it remains unclear to whom the stairs belong, said Kashindi and several other sources who refused to be named.
“The Omusati Regional Council is not the owner of those stairs. You can only take responsibility for what belongs to you. It’s a difficult question to answer because the area falls in the Uukolonkadhi Conservancy.
“Those stairs were built by NamWater because that’s where the first hydro was,” commented Kashindi when asked about the maintenance of the stairs.
Concerned about the state of the stairs, a certain Karlos Namwandi took to Facebook to rant on the dilapidated state of the stairs.
“One of the tourist attractions in Namibia. Ruacana Water falls will soon be a story of the past. Currently that is how the stairs (set of steps) down to the river look like. The stairs are completely damaged if not destroyed and very dangerous to walk through. One wonder how the situation will be when it starts raining. Who is responsible to rescue the nation from losing such a precious force of tourist attraction and preserve such a heritage for the young generation and those yet to be born?,” commented Namwandi.
Another person who expressed concern for visitors’ safety said snakes regularly lurk beneath the stairs. “When we trace back to history, the issue of ownership is not very clear yet. The Uukolonkadhi Traditional Authority has a stake. When it comes to maintenance it’s really a concern,” said the source, explaining that even before the stairs were built there was a structure that seemingly belonged to NamWater.
There was a gentleman’s agreement that the stairs would be renovated, said Kashindi. “But there was nothing in black and white. Each one is ducking,” said Kashindi. New Era tried in vain to get comment from the Uukolonkadhi Traditional Authority and NamPower by the time of going to print.
2019-01-30 09:10:17 2 months ago