New Era (Windhoek)

19 November 2012

Namibia: Water Pipe Halts Road Construction

Rundu — The tarring of the 1.3 km road from Vleiskor Butchery to the Rudolf Ngondo Primary School has temporarily been halted after the town's main water supply pipe was discovered to be located next to the road during construction work.

Construction of the tar road was halted in early October, because if the 350mm asbestos water pipe is damaged it would hamper the supply of water to the 81 400 residents of the town.

The cost to divert the pipe to ensure the resumption of construction work is estimated at N$530 000. The town council has indicated that consultants failed to include the water supply pipe in their report.

The town council's acting CEO, Matheus Naironga, said the contractor to whom the TIPEEG tender was awarded, John Paul Santos (JPS) Investment, is waiting for further directives from the town council before he can continue.

Naironga told New Era last week that the matter is receiving council's urgent attention because it threatens infrastructural investment at the town. "The information regarding the water pipe was not included during the surveying process, and neither on the layout of the council. The contractor discovered the water pipe alongside the road while doing the layering of the road," said Naironga.

Although it will be costly, we can either use our own money to divert the water pipe, or we can redesign the road, seeing that the pipe runs along the road. He said should the town council consider to fork out money to divert the water pipe, it would require about N$536 000.

"We have consulted NamWater and the consultants to solve the problems so that the project can commence as planned. Even though they have claimed ownership of the pipe, NamWater said they do not have money that can be used to divert the water pipe, because it is an unforeseen matter which is not included in their budget," he said.

He added that the town council would consider extending the period in which the project should be completed. The tarring of the road has been hit by controversies since its commencement following a land dispute between the town council and a resident who claimed ownership of a sandpit at the Kaisosi informal settlement, from which the contractor dug gravel in quarrying activities during the construction of the road.

The Rundu Town Council is working around the clock to ensure that roads in the newly formalised areas are upgraded. These include the Kaisosi, Sauyemwa, Kasote, Kehemu and Ndama informal settlements.

Construction of the roads is done with funds from TIPEEG. The tender also includes the upgrading of 34 other gravel roads to bitumen standard by the Rundu-based construction company at a cost of about N$11.3 million.

The town of Rundu was allocated more than N$800 million under TIPEEG. The money will also cover the extension of water services and the upgrading of the sewerage system in Rundu, including the newly formalised areas on the outskirts of the town.

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