Windhoek — Construction is about start on three bridges across the notoriously dangerous gravel road linking Okahandja to Ovitoto, after a brief on-site turning of the sod ceremony on Tuesday.
The Roads Authority (RA) contracted the Roads Contractor Company (RCC) for the N$63-million project, which is expected to create 150 jobs for people living in the vicinity of the road.
The work will include erecting 12 small drainage structures at the Bobbejaan, Niehus and Swakopmund river bridges. The drainage structures are an attempt to minimise dangers posed during the rainy season and create much-needed and improved accessibility between Ovitoto and Okahandja.
"During the rainy season, the Ovitoto settlement is cut off from essential services at Okahandja, thus, successful construction of these bridges and 12 other drainage structures will minimise the dangers posed during that time," said the Minister of Information and Communication Technology Joel Kapanda during the ground-breaking ceremony.
The construction of the bridges is also expected to improve the level of service delivery and social benefits, as well as uplift the living conditions of residents of the Ovitoto community and surroundings areas.
"Government has embarked on this project to improve accessibility and abate the threat to the Ovitoto community and surrounding areas of being cut off from essential services due to floods. Lack of mobility during the rainy season has affected both human life and activities at Ovitoto, including the delivery of services, such as medication to the clinic, food to the school, services in Okahandja for the sick and elderly, attendance at schools and access by tourists," said Kaapanda. The event also marked the second phase of the Ovitoto Development Committee's road infrastructure improvement programme to upgrade the gravel road to bitumen standard.
"The project will result in enhanced access and boost marketing for available products and integrate rural settlements into the mainstream economy. This is also in line with Vision 2030, which envisages a fully industrialised Namibia with enhanced road networks by 2030," said patron of the project Eku Tjitendero.