By Anna Shilongo
President Hifikepunye Pohamba is expected to join other Namibian volunteers this Saturday who will be working on the Northern Railway Line stretching Ondangwa to Oshikango.
First Lady Penehupifo Pohamba, together with the Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Joel Kaapanda, presidential staff, government officials as well as other ordinary members of the public will accompany the President.
More than 60 volunteers from the Khomas Region are expected to join the President.
The group, which will be under the supervision of the Director of Planning and Development in the Khomas Regional Council, Dr Ben Mulongeni, is expected to leave Windhoek for the railway site tomorrow morning.
Mulongeni yesterday told New Era that it is not the first time the Khomas Region is volunteering to work on the rail way line. “We have always been part and parcel of this project since its establishment,” he said, adding that it is necessary for the group to contribute to the development of Namibia.
Mulongeni said the council has made all necessary arrangements such as transport, accommodation and meals.
This Phase II of the project involves extending the railway line from Ondangwa to Oshikango consisting of one mechanical-based and three labour-based contracts for the construction of earthworks embankments, one each ballast-manufacturing and sleeper-manufacturing contract.
The phase further includes one rail-procurement contract and one contract to build two road-over-rail bridges, as well as one permanent way construction contract.
The estimated contract costs of the Phase II, which is said to boost the regional economic growth in the near future, amounts to approximately N$330 million.
The first phase, which was described as a success, was inaugurated by the Head of State last year in July.
Prior to proceeding to the railway station, the Head of State will officiate on Friday, June 14, at the Mwadikange Kaulinge Secondary School at Ondombe in the Ohangwena Region.
Asked what the expectations were regarding the visit by the Head of State, the headmaster of Mwadikange Kaulinge, Chrispin Masule, responded positively, saying it was important for them to invite the President to officiate at the school. “We are expecting him to be here on Friday, and everything has been put into place. I am sure he willl like what he sees.”
The school, which caters for about 600 learners at a time, opened its doors earlier this year. At the moment there are 554 learners, 18 teachers, 16 classrooms, 8 science labs, one library, eight hostel blocks and one administration block. “All blocks are air-conditioned”, said the principal.
Masule also expressed satisfaction with the qualifications of his teachers, adding that all 18 of them were university graduates.
“I place my trust in them, and I am confident that my school will one day be among the top schools in the country,” he said, “provided my teachers will transfer to the learners the skills and knowledge they obtained at university.”
He noted that the majority of his learners were performing well in their grades, and described them as well-mannered and disciplined.
Unfortunately, Mwadikange Kaulinge Secondary School only consists of two grades, which are Grades 11 and 12.
Like any other school, the Kaulinge Secondary School also has its challenges, such as the shortage of textbooks, library materials and computers. The school currently has one computer that is used for administration purposes.
The school’s library is also standing empty, said Masule. “I am appealing to good Samaritans to assist us with the little they can. Even used computers or novels can contribute meaningfully towards these children’s education.
This school was supposed to be contracted in two phases but, through the intervention of government and the president, the constructors were forced to speed up the process, though the final phase was due to be next year.