KARIBIB: The Chairperson of the Roads Authority (RA)’s Board of Directors has called on partners in national road infrastructure development to help raise funds for the maintenance of the country’s vast road network.
RA Board Chairperson Hileni Kaifanua made the call during the official opening of the rehabilitated Trunk Road 7/1 between Karibib and Okahandja here on Tuesday.
Kaifanua said the RA needs more funds to initiate similar projects, which would help to accommodate the increasing number of road users.
She mentioned that Namibia has a road network of 45 645 kilometres (km) of which only 6 664 km are tarred.
“We need to rehabilitate and maintain the current tarred roads and build new roads,” she stated, before adding that the importance of sufficient road infrastructure for a developing country cannot be over-emphasised.
Kaifanua said it is for this reason that the RA is committed to carrying out its mandate of having a sustainable road sector in pursuit of Vision 2030.
“An achievement was reached with the opening of the Trunk Road 7/1 between Karibib and Okahandja. However, construction is very expensive and the RA needs financial support from Government and donors in order to continue serving the nation in such a manner that the economy can grow,” she stated.
The 112 km Trunk Road 7/1 was rehabilitated at a cost of N.dollars 424 million.
Work on the road became necessary after heavy rainfall in 2000 led to a rapid deterioration of the road.
According to Kaifanua, potholes, edge breaks and rutting had a negative effect on the road users, due to the poor riding quality which caused an increase in vehicle operating costs and travel times.
The rehabilitation work was done in two phases, with work starting in February 2008 and being completed this month.
“Rehabilitation work on this road included the rehabilitation of the road pavement carriageway and shoulder widening, lengthening of culverts and widening of bridges to accommodate the shoulders. Improvements were also done on the side drainage, widening of cuttings to improve sight distances, and improvement of intersections,” she indicated.
Kaifanua added that the long-term benefits of the rehabilitated road includes improved safety, improved traffic flow and driver comfort.
During Tuesday’s event, Minister of Works and Transport Erkki Nghimtina also stated that a number of roads in other parts of Namibia are being upgraded to bitumen standard.
These include the Swakopmund-Henties Bay-Kamanjab road; the Gobabis-Aminius-Aranos road; the Rosh Pinah-Oranjemund road; the Omafo-Outapi road; the Omakange-Ruacana road and the Otjinene-Grootfontein road.
Nghimtina indicated that many of these projects make use of labour-based road construction methods so that employment opportunities are created for Namibians.