By: Annakleta Haikera
Mankumpi Constituency Councillor Lukas Muha says that within a period of six months the Charlie Cutline will be looked at as a very strategic road that will bring relief to farmers.
The district road 3446 in the Kavango West region was upgraded to Gravel Phase 1. It runs through approximately 104 farming units, numerous schools and clinics.
The betterment works of this sandy road was divided into three phases. Phase 1, covers the first 40km, which include clearing, forming and adding the first layer of gravel on the road to make it trafficable. The same road improvements will be done in phase 2, which will cover 50km of the road. Phase 3 will conclude the project, with the remaining 48km which ends at Helavi.
Phase 2 of the project was officially commissioned on Tuesday by the Minister of Works and Transport John Mutorwa.
Muha said the road would be upgraded to the low volume sleeved and that it has always been their prayers.
According to him, there have been times previously when they, residents and the Regional Council, struggled to cross the water pump lines and electrical lines from one side to the other and that had required them to cut the road if there are no provisions.
“In the six months that the road is going to be upgraded all the submissions made by the Council will be considered. The betterment standards that have been completed in terms of the 1 phase have already proven that this is a very important road,” Muha said.
New homesteads, he said, are already seen at the side of the road, and farmers are able to transport their products to sell at nearby places.
“We, the Council, have succeeded in the completion of the Satotwa hostel that will be a hostel to many children within the region.”
Meanwhile, Works Minister Mutorwa indicated that the road will not only improve the mobility of people and services but will also help to stimulate rural economic development through agriculture.
“If you can look at the activities in this area it is mainly agriculture, animal husbandry and many planting their mahungu for food production,” Mutorwa said.
Upgrades were also made at the intersection of the Trans-Zambezi Highway and Eugene Kakukuru street in Rundu where a traffic circle is being constructed along with a dual road entering the centre of town.
“The development is aimed at improved movement of vehicles entering and leaving the town centre.”
Roads Authority Chief Executive Officer Conrad Lutombi said the Charlie Cutline project has been on their priority list for upgrade for many years, but could not be achieved earlier due to the economic downturn, hampering the development.
“Road Authority plans to upgrade this road to low volume seal standard as funds become available. More projects are lined up here in the Kavango West region to upgrade roads to low volume seal standard in this financial year. This includes the road from Nkurenkuru to Nepara Clinic over 28km, and from Mburuuru to Mutjokotjo over 33km,” Lutombi said.
Eric Muwambo, a resident at the Satotwa village, told The Villager that the Mankupi road has been a nightmare to residents.
“Phase 2 road is on its way of completion now. In fact, even those who had plans of relocating [to othr places] decided to stay because the sandy and windy road is now tarmac. We are able to travel to nearby places to fetch water and drive to town and come back the same day. Even the transport fee has now been reduced because cars are driving up and down,” Muwambo exclaimed.