By: Hertha Ekandjo
Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) ‘s Erongo Regional Coordinator Roger Nautoro has lamented the state of Namibian roads, particularly those in the Erongo region.
According to the official opposition coordinator, the roads have become a thorn in the flesh for vehicle owners as they are in terribly deplorable conditions.
Nautoro has further called upon private companies and mines, especially those within the Erongo region, to come on board and help the government construct roads within the region.
“Private companies, mines within those vicinities need to get on board to assist the government also,” said Nautoro.
He added that it is not only their responsibility as the opposition party only to criticise but also to create perspective.
Nautoro said there has never been any tarred road in the Daures Constituency. “Much of the Daures Constituency does not have a single tarred road, save for the major highways,” he told The Villager.
According to Nautoro, the roads are rough, rocky, corrugated and crisscrossed by mini rivers making it difficult to cross in rainy seasons and lack bridges.
Moreover, he added that the budgeted money by the works and transport ministry under transport through the Programme Roads Infrastructure for five years, from 2021 to 2025, is insufficient.
“If you look at the completion of the MR44 road, the Walvis Bay road, we are talking about N$237 359 million. Comparing it to the N$2.5 million, it is not enough,” he told The Villager.
“Driving to the villages and settlements in the Erongo region has become a thorn in the flesh for vehicle owners as our roads are in very deplorable conditions,” said Nautoro.
He explained that this could take up to a week or two depending on the magnitude of the rain falling, hampering business in said destinations.
According to him, at least in the past four years, 1119 road crashes were recorded in the Erongo region. These crashes ultimately resulted in more than 1700 injuries and 125 fatalities.
“The Swakopmund to Hentis Bay to Kamanjab Link 412 km Road Project which was birthed in 2015, has not yet reached an advantageous level of completion after seven years,” reads the statement.
The statement states that the Omatjette Settlement witnessed the pious claptrap tarred intersection, while the Otjohorongo, Otjiperongo, Okongue and Okamapuku to Okombahe and Omaruru links are in deplorable condition.
Furthermore, it indicated that the Karibib to Otjimbingwe road link is equally in a terrible state. Travellers from Omaruru to and from Okahandja and or Windhoek are forced to drive an extra 84 km through Karibib while the Wilhemstal to Omaruru link remains untarred.
“The incomplete MR 44 Walvis affected a budget of N$237,359,000.00 for the 2022/2023 FY. The budgeted money by the works and transport ministry under Transport through the Programme Roads Infrastructure is as follows; 2021/2022 FY = N$200,000,000.00, 2022/2023 FY = N$120,000,000.00, 2023/2024 FY = N$179,221,000.00, 2024/2025 FY = N$2,500,000.00,” he said.
He also highlighted that the tourist-attracting Spitzkoppe to the Henties Bay link is another crucial road needing attention.
“We call on the Namibian government through the Roads Authorities to prioritise the tarring of roads in the Erongo Region as mentioned above. These roads bear an economic significance to the larger population in this region,” said Nautoro.