Sikongo fumes over 'under-prioritised' Kavango West roads

08 Aug 2019 10:50am
NKURENKURU, 08 AUG (NAMPA) - Kavango West regional council chairperson Joseph Sikongo on Wednesday expressed dissatisfaction at the construction, rehabilitation or maintenance of priority roads in the region not featuring in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
Sikongo said this during a meeting on feeder roads between all councilors of the region, the Roads Authority as well as members of the public here on Wednesday.
The chairperson said there are between four to 13 road projects taking place in each of the other 13 regions, but none in the Kavango West.
“As of now up to 2023, Kavango West will not be expecting any road works soon,” Sikongo, who is also the councilor for Tondoro Constituency, said, demanding that the construction of road works in his region to start immediately.
Sikongo said he is tired of feasibility studies as they were also done previously, when the country’s economy was favourable.
“We are told frequently that there is no budget or that roads cannot be constructed due to the economic downturn. But the question remains, where is it you get funds for the other regions?” he asked.
While acknowledging some of the roads constructed in the region previously, such as the Rundu-Elundu road and gravel roads like Harabembe and Kamupupu, Sikongo added that the poor road network within the region contributes to it being classified as one of the poorest, since road infrastructure is a key indicator of development.
“This has also made it difficult for the Government to take basic services such as health, education, water, electricity, drought relief (aid) and government institutions such as constituency offices to the people,” said Sikongo.
Responding to the chairperson’s complaints, the Chief Executive Officer of the Roads Authority, Conrad Lutombi said he appreciates the arrangements of the meeting.
“Last year, we crafted a strategic plan and we invited representatives from various regions. After crafting it, we went back to the regions to verify the information we had in our draft strategic plan,” Lutombi said.
The Kavango West regional leadership, he explained, expressed that some of the projects that were critical were not highlighted.
He added that the leadership was then asked to provide its identified projects in writing and 11 of the projects identified have since been included in the 2018-2022 strategic plan.