China Longjian Investment Group has been roped in to complete the construction of the DR3668 road between Epako and Omuvelo WaKasamane border post in the Omusati Region, after a previous joint venture pulled out, citing a shortage of resources.
The seven-kilometre stretch was left unattended after the previous contractor, a joint venture between three Namibian firms – Namibian Investment Contact cc, Dolly Investment cc and Tix Investment cc – voluntarily pulled out of the project with only 20 percent of the work completed.
According to the Roads Authority Executive Officer for Corporate Services, Rosalinde Nakale, the incompletion of the road left many communities who seek to use the road between Epako village and Omuvelo WaKasamane border post stranded, a situation which led to the re-advertisement of the tender and a new contractor appointed to complete the N$35 million road to bitumen standard within seven months.
Nakale appealed to the new contractors to consider making use of the previous workers who were initially deployed at the site during the construction period and to also strongly consider giving work to females.
“We would also like you to consider some of the Namibian small construction firms – test them and subcontract them so that they also enhance their skills and capabilities,” she said.
The Chief of the Ombadja Traditional Authority, Matias Walaula, cautioned the surrounding communities not to subotage development but to fully cooperate with the new contractor, especially when it comes to re-location of houses. Walaula added that vandalism of properties and theft of materials at the construction site will not be tolerated.
The previous contractors pulled out in 2013 without too much of the work done, citing that they felt the pinch in completing the work as there was not enough resources to buy building materials and pay workers, as the amount they tendered for the project was very low as they were desperately in need of work.
Incompletion of various capital projects in the Omusati Region is not something new, a situation which prompted the previous governor of Omusati, Sophia Shaningwa, to lash out at contractors who failed to deliver on time when awarded contracts in the region. Her sentiments were again echoed by her successor Erginus Endjala, who earlier this year came out strongly in lashing out at the contractors who abandoned the extension of the Okahao District Hospital.
• Lot Shikongo is an Information Officer working for the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in Omusati Region.