A number of capital projects lined up in the Oshikoto Region lie idle while the majority of those in progress are of poor quality and only a handful have yielded satisfactory results, according to the Parliamentary Committee on Economic and Public Administration.
The committee visited Oshikoto Region on Monday and Tuesday to assess the progress and the quality of work on capital projects underway before proceeding to Erongo region.
A lack of close supervision, poor planning and maladministration have been hampering the success of some projects, according to committee chairperson Veiko Nekundi.
“Some projects are not doing well [and are] without any sign of value for government funds invested in such projects. The value of some projects here on the ground does not correlate with what government has spent. They are substandard and of poor quality and this is due too poor planning in some cases,” stressed a dissatisfied Nekundi.
Nekundi pointed to the quality of the construction and upgrade of Onamulele and Onamulunga schools in the vast Oshikoto Region, saying it is of extremely poor quality and a waste of time and resources. He said the committee takes the issue very seriously and will look for ways to solve the obstacles and bottlenecks delaying progress.
Despite that, Nekundi was pleased with progress made on projects, such as the construction of an industrial office park for the National Development Corporation (NDC), as well as the construction of the Omuthiya-Onanke road and Omuntele gravel road.
“The gravel roads have been constructed and are of good quality… Same goes for the NDC office park. I was satisfied with the quality, but it has been derailed by the contractors tampering with the architectural [design] of the project, and this is totally delaying completion of the project and generally affects the whole budget, because it will overlap and require more funding,” said Nekundi, stressing that professionalism and good workmanship are needed.
Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor of Tsumeb Matheus Hangula said another problem they picked up during the site visits is a lack of communication between people on the ground and the line ministry, as in some cases workers in the field are unsure of what happens next and what is to be done.
He said this with reference to a government garage due for construction, where on paper significant strides were being made to ensure its timely completion, while in reality no groundwork had yet taken place.
“It goes with the rehabilitation of the railway line from Otavi to Tsumeb, nothing has been done to start revamping the railway, but when you check the reports they indicate there is major progress taking place. So, stakeholders are on different pages here and this is delaying development and everything else,” Hangula stressed.