By: Gabriel Kandjengo kaMkwaanyoka
The last year’s flooding of Wernihil Shopping Mall in the capital city got people questioning Engineers and the mighty city planning, furthermore the yearly flooding of the northern and eastern regions.
Someone posted that “engineers should further their studies”.
My question is what is the buzz, guys? Zambezi, Kavango, and central north get flooded every good rainy year.
Actually, we are waiting for the same thing this year, with a good rain forecast for this year and southern Angola receiving plenty of rainfall.
Flood water has already arrived in Ohangwena from the Cuvelai plains in Angola, school kids are already swimming to school, and those who take care of their grannies be preparing to carry them over the flood water to hospitals and to get their pension.
To make it worse, the Windhokers have shown their hypocrisy, Havana and all the ghettos get flooded almost every time but they don’t go on as they did for Wernhil Shopping center. Maximum.
Now back to our question, local engineers, engineering schools, and engineering organizations together with hydrologists all have failed us since the colonial master went. Or who failed us then?
Just like teachers, principals, and education ministries are pointed out for grade 11 embarrassing results, the country’s engineers and hydrologists need to be pointed out regarding the flooding issues.
Yes, Hangula Onesmus, Mungolo, and Ndina Nduunyema are going to come for me and the rest of the engineers- please just go back to the drawing board, not to me.
I am sure they wanna approach the lawyers now but let me just list all your accompaniments to our economic building.
Havana, the central and eastern northern region gets flooded every good rainy year, Eenhana road has to be reconstructed, the Havana road did not materialize, the airports run away work has to be re-done, some buildings have to be evacuated as they weren’t fit for occupation.
Then comes Oshakati Ekuku, this one deserves a laughing emoji. We are building in river beds, we fail to find ways to direct the water or store it- the country hydrologist let us make all these construction blunders quietly.
Furthermore, we have systems in our government that only get to be repaired by some guy from China, Indonesia, or Singapore.
Where are my engineers, the most important people after economists in economic building, where are you?
To make it worse, all our big infrastructure tenders are given to foreign contractors- where are you, my engineers?
Yes, this is not just about Wernihil Shopping center, it is about the engineers’ role in building the economy and the resilient and competitive economic infrastructures for the future.
Everyone blames economists for the bad performance of the economy, forgetting we have hard-headed politicians who don’t reason nor value research unless it comes from the western world.
However, nobody calls out the country hydrologists and structural engineers regarding the flood in the central north and eastern region of the country- how do we fix the drought and flood situation to enable agricultural production all year?
But I and others have a bone to pick with engineers, all of you are letting the Road Authority, Ministry of Works, and Ministry of Education award all the big tenders to the Chinese.
Why? Some analysis of the Tender Board of Namibia awarding summary shows that there were a lot of joint ventures between Namibian companies, and foreign companies, and according to the then Ministry of Works, Alpheus !Naruseb it was for skill transfer purposes.
Despite this deliberate effort, all the bigger tenders still go to the Chinese contractors.
Or is it because of Tate Calle Schlettwein and Meme Sarah’s blunders, that allowed our government to get grants that give the work away to the Chinese republic companies?
Regards, where are my engineers to challenge some of this institutional incompetence from MoF?
Is crazy we get a loan from the African Development Bank then we give the tender to foreign companies to do the work- then they ship their profit home.
Guess what, you engineers and all of us pay the taxes to the government to repay the loan even though you don’t get the tenders.
I don’t care what AfDB loan conditions are if the tender doesn’t go to Namibians then you engineers are supposed to be the first to stand up tog but I see no actions from you all.
Tate Lutombi has justification for his RA awarding tenders to foreign (companies (Chinese) such as the Central Procurement Board.
But for what reason though, let them meet all engineers, UNAM, NUST, and VTC and tell them tender specifications and the country’s aspirations on the infrastructures, so you can improve your skill and equip yourself.
I just don’t wanna be here crucifying you on Wernihil, Havanna ghettos, Zambezi flooding, central north, and the Mariental flood and the fact that the Neckartal Dam tender was given to Italian under your watch, I wanna work with you.
I am a novice economist and quite unconventional but I wanna make southern Africa great, and Namibia significant.
But foremost let us address, my ghetto and the taxi I invested in got washed away during the flush flood weekend in Windhoek- I am mad at you.
Secondly, my grandmother will not go get her pension this month because our village is surrounded by water and those who get their monthly prescription have to swim to get to Engela Hospital.
Regardless, the Namibian community and economy need me and you to build a resilient and more beneficial economy compared to what the colonial regime and beneficiaries did.
So engineers and hydrologists have a crucial task to solve, the flood situation in the north, central north, and eastern region- for Windhoek, let us leave it to their town planners and their chaotic councilors and management.
If it is the capital, talk to the Minister of Finance, he is borrowing every month, and he could spare some millions for you.
So where do we meet for this crucial task? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org