New Era (Windhoek)

9 July 2012

Namibia: Community Vandalizes New Railway Line

Ohangwena Regional Governor Usko Nghaamwa has called on community members living along the Ondangwa-Oshikango railway line to refrain from vandalizing it.

Nghaamwa made the call whilst speaking on the occasion of that railway line's official commissioning by President Hifikepunye Pohamba at the Oshikango suburb of the northern border town of Helao Nafidi last Thursday.

According to the governor, some people have already started removing the railway concrete sleepers and wire fence. Nghaamwa said children, seeing a train for the first time, chase after it.

"Chasing after a moving train is dangerous, therefore, stop doing that," Nghaamwa warned.

He also reminded members of the community that the extension of the railway line to the region was a major milestone and a national asset, which must be guarded against vandalism by all inhabitants of the region.

Some children are also accused of playing and lying on the railway lines, while recently certain villagers reportedly lost their cattle, which were run over by a train in Okaku Constituency.

Nghaamwa told the audience that many people, including Angolan nationals, have already started using the railway line to transport their goods per train from the southern parts of the country to Oshikango.

The Ondangwa-Oshikango railway line is part of the Northern Railway Line Extension Project, of which construction started in the copper town of Tsumeb in 2002. Founding President Dr Sam Nujoma spearheaded the Northern Railway Line Extension Project during his term of office and mobilised many people in the country to volunteer their labour towards its construction at its initial stage.

"I wish to single out the Founding President and Father of the Namibian Nation, Comrade Sam Shafiishuna Nujoma, for his vision and for the leadership he provided from the inception to the implementation of this national project," Pohamba said in his commissioning speech.

He also commended all Namibians who contributed to the successful completion of the project, adding that thousands of Namibians from all over the country, including Queen Martha Mwadinomho waKristian yaNelumbu of Oukwanyama, worked on the project.

"I also commend local businessmen and women who provided tools, clothing, food and drinks to the volunteers," Pohamba stated.

With the completion of the Tsumeb-Ondangwa-Oshikango railway line, Namibia now has a railway network stretching from south to north - from the Ariamsvlei Border Post in the south to the Oshikango Border Post in the north.

A number of Namibian Cabinet ministers, members of parliament including Chief Justus Garoëb of the United Democratic Front (UDF), Clara Gowases of the Republican Party and Angolan Transport Minister Augusto da Silva Tomas attended the commissioning. - Nampa

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