Ondangwa-Oshakati railway line to commence in Apr

04 Jun 2013 08:50
WINDHOEK, 04 JUN (NAMPA) - More than 100 homesteads will be affected when Phase Three of the Northern Railway Line Extension Project between Ondangwa and Oshakati commences next year.
The Ministry of Works and Transport has already identified those people who will be affected by the construction of the railway line, and they will be compensated accordingly.
Robert Kalomho, Director of Railway Infrastructure Management in the Works and Transport Ministry, told Nampa on Tuesday that his ministry has budgeted about N.dollars 7 million as compensation for the affected people.
?Compensation is very expensive, especially for homesteads which have trees such as jackalberry trees,? he stated.
Construction of the 38-kilometre Ondangwa-Oshakati railway track is set to start in April next year, and if everything goes according to plan, will take three to four years to complete.
?We would like to use labour-based methods in terms of clearing bush and the scrapping of the road, and we will give preference to women and youth to do the work,? he stated without indicating how many people will be employed during the construction.
Kalomho said this railway line is economically viable, as it will be an alternative mode of transport for people and cargo.
?Upon its completion, businesses around the country could transport their goods by train straight to Oshakati,? he said, adding that by using this railway line, the country?s roads can be preserved and roads' maintenance costs reduced.
No tenders have yet been issued for the construction of the envisaged Ondangwa-Oshakati railway line, as consultants are busy compiling the tender documents.
The envisaged railway line is part of the Northern Railway Line Extension Project, of which construction started in the copper town of Tsumeb in 2002.
Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma spearheaded the Northern Railway Line Extension Project during his term of office, and mobilised many people in the country to volunteer their labour towards its construction in the initial stages.
With the completion of the Tsumeb-Ondangwa-Oshikango railway line and the Ondangwa-Oshakati railway line, Namibia will have a railway network stretching from the Ariamsvlei border post in the far-south to the Oshikango border post in the far-north.
The completion of the Northern Railway Line Extension Project will form an extension of the existing Namibian railway system, which will ensure smooth trade and commerce within Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.
It will mainly provide a link in the Namibe-Lubango-Oshikango-Walvis Bay Transport Corridor, which is aimed at promoting development, economic growth, the eradication of poverty and the creation of employment possibilities in Angola and Namibia.