OTJINENE: The completed portion of the Gobabis-Otjinene road, covering some 157km, was on Friday officially opened for traffic by President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
The TR 14/02 road, which covers an entire distance of 160km, was upgraded from gravel to bitumen standard.
It forms part of phase one of the Gobabis-Grootfontein road upgrade, expected to link the Omaheke Region to the Otjozondjupa Region.
The remaining three kilometres of the TR14/02 will be catered for during the second phase of the road upgrade, expected to commence early 2013.
The Head of State used the occasion to call on Namibians to take stock of developments in the road and transport sector that has been made possible by Government since independence.
He noted that Government has prioritised the development and linkages of road networks across the country since independence.
Recounting the number of roads constructed since 1990, Pohamba said roads totalling a distance of 3 429km have been either upgraded or constructed from the ground during that period.
He singled out the completion of the 200-kilometre Trans-Kalahari Highway connecting Namibia with Botswana, and forming part of the corridor linking the Gauteng Province in South Africa.
Pohamba also made mention of the 204-kilometre Kamanjab-Omakange road, the 23-kilometre Oshikuku-Okalongo road, the 370-kilometre Rundu-Siko-Nkurenkuru-Elundu road, and the rehabilitation of the 77-kilometre Okahandja-Karibib road, amongst others.
The president said the upgraded road will make life easier for farmers, the business community and the general public through a safer and faster link with the region’s main town of Gobabis.
“Given the fact that the Omaheke Region is a cattle country, it means faster access to the markets, access to the agricultural extension services and so forth.
I am therefore pleased to note that the slippery gravel road between Otjinene and Gobabis , which has been accident prone, has become something of the past,” he said.
Pohamba noted that the upgrading of the Gobabis-Otjinene road is just one of many similar projects identified by Government in its bid to bring much needed development to the rural areas.
“We will not stop here. This is just one project that has been completed. Other projects are underway in different parts of the country. New road construction projects are also being planned as part of our National Master Plan,” the Head of State noted.
The event was also graced by Omaheke Regional Governor Laura McLeod-Katjirua, Minister of Works and Transport Errki Nghimtina, top-ranking Roads Authority (RA) officials, and local and regional authority councillors among others.
The road was upgraded at a cost of N.dollars 318 million.