Yesterday in Okalongo, Honorable Alpheus G. !Naruseb, Minister of Works and Transport together with Honorable Modestus Amutse, Chairperson of the Omusati Regional Council, Ms. Stella Seibert-Palascino, Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Windhoek and Conrad Lutombi, Chief Executive Officer of the Roads Authority of Namibia officially ‘broke the ground’ for a new project “Adaptation of Roads in Northern Namibia to Climate Change (Flood Prevention)”. The project is jointly financed by the Republic of Namibia and the Federal Republic of Germany.
The project envisages to ‘flood-proof’ 34 access roads with a combined length of 128 km in the Omusati and Ohangwena region over the next 2 years.
Make roads flood-proof
The programme is split into 2 phases. During Phase 1, a total of 23 access roads with a combined length of 98 km will be constructed, all of them in the Omusati region which is particularly prone to flooding. The work will improve basic sand tracks leading to public facilities. During the rainy season, these sand tracks are partly or completely standing under water making it difficult to pass them. The approach is to widen the roads and increase the height by between 30–50 cm. In addition, adequate drainage structures will be installed on all access roads to ensure sustainability and long-life.
Life-saving character: better access to clinics
The works in Omusati will improve access to 7 clinics that serve a potential of around 75,000 patients annually and 18 schools which employ about 400 teachers and have 9,000 learners, said Ms Stella Seibert-Palascino. “It is evident that if teachers can’t reach schools, it has an impact on all learners and the continuation of education. And it does not need further explanation that, in certain cases, better access to clinics in the rainy season can have a life-saving character.”
All contractors are Emerging Contractors
Minister !Narubseb emphasized that “the 23 access roads will be built by 6 different contractors. All 6 contractors are so-called ‘Emerging Contractors’ meaning that they have been Namibian Small and Medium Enterprise (SME)-contractors that have over the years progressed onto the level of an Emerging Contractor.”
“Insofar, we are not only talking about roads, but we address other issues in this programme: economic development through Small and Emerging enterprises, social progress and – last but not least - the education of Namibia’s future generation” , both sides concluded.
8.8 million EUR financed by German KfW Development Bank
Total project cost amount to approximately 12.4 m EUR translating to 200 m NAD; of which 8.8 m EUR (currently around 140 m NAD) will be sponsored by a grant from German Financial Corporation through KfW Development Bank. The Namibian Government will contribute 3.6 m EUR or currently around 60m NAD to the project.