Okatana-Onamutai road officially opened

20 Aug 2013 08:20
OKATANA, 20 AUG (NAMPA) – Construction work on the 16 kilometre (km) gravel road from Okatana to Onamutai via Ongwediva (DR 3671) in the Oshana Region has been completed.
The road was officially inaugurated by Minister of Works and Transport Erkki Nghimtina on Monday.
Nghimtina told those in attendance at the official opening that the road was constructed at a cost of N.dollars 60,2 million.
“The project was funded through a joint agreement between the Namibian Government and Germany’s KfW Development Bank. Our government is aware of the fact that a good road network is the lifeline of any economy,” he said.
The construction work was launched in September 2011. The road was constructed through labour-based methods which offered job opportunities to the surrounding communities.
According to the minister, some 162 people were employed during the construction of the road, of which 33 were women.
He congratulated the Roads Authority (RA), engineering consultant, contractor and seven Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) contractors for finishing the project on time.
Nghimtina used the same occasion to appeal to all motorists to be vigilant when travelling on the Namibian road network and to be aware of road traffic signs at all times, adding that road accident statistics and road fatalities are still very high in Namibia.
“I would like to implore all law enforcement agencies and all road users to work together in enforcing safety and combating unruly behaviour on our roads,” he told his audience.
He also expressed concern about deteriorating roads due to a number of factors, singling out overloading as the main contributing factor to the cause of damage to the country’s road network.
The minister at the same time urged the RA to increase road inspections and to ensure that culprits are brought to book.
“Studies show that our government spends more than N.dollars 60 million per annum on road repairs caused by overloading,” Nghimtina stated.
Oshana Regional Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa also addressed the inauguration event and told those in attendance that the Okatana-Ongwediva-Onamutai road links his region to its sister region of Ohangwena through the Ekolanaambo-Ohalushu-Ongha gravel road. Kashuupulwa pointed out that the Okatana-Onamutai road has created access to surrounding schools which was previously a problem during the rainy season.
The Outapi to Okapalelona road (Omusati Region), Onamutuku to Oshikuku road (Omusati Region) and Onalulago to Epembe road (Oshikoto Region) are just some of the gravel roads Nghimtina will officially inaugurate, or for which he will launch construction work in northern Namibia this week.