Windhoek — Upgrading the road between Ruacana and Omakange, from gravel to bitumen standard would go a long way because the road will link the western part of Namibia to the northern parts of the country and to southern Angola, according to President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
The road also forms part of the link within the Trans-Cunene Corridor, linking the Port of Walvis Bay to central and southern Angola via the Ruacana, Omahenene and Oshikango border posts. President Pohamba made the remarks during the commissioning of the second phase of the road last week. During the first phase the road was upgraded from Kamanjab to Omakange, and the recently commissioned phase would see the upgrading of the 94km portion of the road from Omakange to Ruacana.
It is estimated that the work would cost government about N$477 million in total and is scheduled to take 24 months to complete. Construction would create approximately 500 temporary jobs for locals.
"The upgrading of this road will provide the surrounding communities with easier access to public institutions such as clinics, schools and other facilities. It will also reduce travelling time and transportation costs between north-western Namibia and the coastal towns of Henties Bay, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay," Pohamba said.
"In order to enhance domestic trade and commerce, it is important to ensure that different parts of our country are connected, especially by all-weather roads and by railway lines. This would allow traders to deliver services and goods to all parts of the country," Pohamba said. "Moreover, the road will create a shorter link for commercial and cargo vehicles travelling from the Port of Walvis Bay to southern Angola via the Oshikango border post.
"Furthermore, this road will provide a short and direct access to south-western Angola, particularly to the towns of Namibé, Lubango and Lobito through the Ruacana and Omahenene border posts," the Head of State said. Once this road is completed, the potential for tourism in the Kunene Region will also be greatly enhanced.
The Kunene Region has some of the best tourist attractions in the country, such as the Ruacana and Epupa Falls. Tourists travelling from central and western Kunene to the Etosha National Park would enjoy safer and shortened routes via Oshakati, Ongwediva, Ondangwa and Omuthiya.