MPUNGU – President Hifikepunye Pohamba, accompanied by the Deputy Prime Minister Marco Hausiku and several ministers last week on Friday inaugurated the Tsumeb-Katwitwi road.
The inauguration ceremony took place at Mpungu, some 185 kilometers west of Rundu.
The road was constructed in three sections at a cost of over N$910 million.
“Not a penny of this money has been sourced from outside, this money comes entirely from your government,” announced the Head of State.
He emphasized that the new road would significantly boost trade between Namibia and Angola.
The Roads Contractor Company (RCC) and China Henan International Cooperation Group (Chico) were the contractors for the third and final phase of the road.
Construction on the first phase from Tsumeb to Tsintsabis started in February 2009.
“This part of the country has been opened up for increased trade and investments in the various sectors of the economy such as tourism, logistics and agriculture. Similarly, trade between Namibia and Angola will increase further and thereby contribute to economic growth and regional integration,” said Pohamba.
“The opening of this road today reaffirms our government’s commitment to the modernization and expansion of our national road transport and communication infrastructure,” he said.
“It also demonstrates our focus on implementing programmes that are aimed at building a reliable transport and communications network, which is vital for the development of our country,” he said.
Pohamba said that with the completion of the road, another 180 kilometers of tarred road has been added to the national road network.
He said the communities living along the road now have access to a reliable all-weather road, which provides safer and reliable travel.
“This will in turn stimulate trade and socio-economic development in these areas,” he said.
He urged Namibians to welcome “this major development because it will have a positive and tangible impact on the lives of thousands of our people through the provision of better access to health centres, educational institutions and markets.”
About 900 jobs were created during the construction period.
He also called upon entrepreneurs and investors to take up the business and investment opportunities presented by the completion of the road.
He also assured the nation that the new road is just one of the various road upgrading projects that have been funded by the government and successfully completed around the country.
Safety on the roads during the festive season
With close to 600 people having lost their lives already on national roads this year, Pohamba urged Namibians to be cautious when travelling during the festive season.
“Namibia has lost many lives due to road accidents. It is the responsibility of all road users to change this situation,” he said.
Pohamba urged road users to observe and obey traffic rules at all times.
“The holiday season is now upon us and many of our people will travel to different destinations around the country,” he said.
The attitudes and behaviour of road users must change so that the loss of lives and injuries can be avoided, he said, adding that all Namibians must join hands and work together to achieve this goal.
By Mathias Haufiku