THE community of Impalila Island in the Zambezi region, is happy with the upgrading of access roads to low volume seal standard on the island.
Impalila Island is at the far eastern end of the region in the Kabbe South constituency and is only accessible by boat.
The island has over 3 500 inhabitants who mostly survive on fishing, like most of the communities in the region.
Minister of works and transport, John Mutorwa officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony of the upgrading of the access roads on Thursday on the island and assured the community of the government's commitment to transform Namibia's road network even on a remote island such as Impalila.
"Our programme to provide access to all corners of our country is on track. We are heading towards building a better Namibia for everyone," he said.
Mutorwa added that district roads 3546, 3547 and 3575 on the island will be upgraded within two years.
"The length of these roads, including minor access roads to public institutions is approximately 25 kilometres. They will be constructed to gravel standard and subsequently to low volume seal standard. The terrain of Impalila Island is inaccessible during the rainy season. Thus, once completed, the roads will reduce vehicle operating, road user and transport costs," said.
According to Mutorwa, the island is accessible through the district road 3524 (Nakabolelwa-Mbalasinte-Kasika) which is approximately 35 kilometres long, an earth-track through flood plains which cannot be used during the rainy season.
Mutorwa urged the Roads Authority (RA) to ensure that people see action on the ground after the announcement.
Roads Authority chief executive officer Conrad Lutombi said they prioritised the Impalila roads and they will start with the upgrading of the access roads to low seal volume standard on the island.
Lutombi added that upgrading these roads, which will cost about N$60 million, will be done by Nexus Civils (Pty) Ltd, who are currently busy with the construction of Namalubi-Isize-Luhonono road.
Impalila Island the head woman, Imelda Muluti, expressed joy over the upgrading of the access roads on the island, saying that they have been suffering for a very long time and this development is welcomed by the community.