Rural community needed in transport hearings

The Ministry of Works and Transport, in partnership with German development consultants company GOPA will seek to involve more villagers in phase two of their project.

The project, ‘Transport 4 People’ aimed at developing an inclusive, cost-effective and sustainable transport system for the people in the four northern regions, Omusati, Oshana, Oshikoto and Ohangwena Regions, held several public hearings in a bid to hear directly from the community that is affected by the transport system in the area but stated was disappointed by the turn out.

Tuwilika Shaungu of Transport 4 People said after the series of meetings was over, the feedback they heard back was that they needed to involve more of the locals who stay in the villages.

“We realised through our campaign to reach as many people as possible, we did not effectively reach the ones who don’t stay in the towns, like Oshakati and Ondangwa and others. The feedback we got was that we should reach out to the traditional leaders to inform the people when we do the planning,” she said.

She explained that those who stay in the rural areas are the ones who need the education the most as many of them come to the towns without even knowing how to properly read traffic signs.

According to Transport 4 People “Most transport services are unaffordable for lower income groups. Especially, the current taxi system is expensive and exclusive. Inadequate transport coverage of rural areas and imbalances in the provision of transport services in different modes of transport are a reality in this part of the country.”

In order to develop priorities for intervention, the Ministry of Works and Transport and its partners have decided to apply a two-phased approach, the second of which will start next year.

A detailed and extensive needs assessment in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders will lead to a scoping study, which will identify in detail the transport related issues and their potential solutions.