Roads swept away by heavy rains

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Nuusita Ashipala

Ongwediva-Recent heavy rains have swept away several segments of gravel roads in the north, leaving some communities completely cut off from accessing basic services.
The regions affected are Oshana and Omusati. Roads washed away in Oshana Region include the N$60 million Okatana-Ongwediva road and Okaku-Ohalushu road.

In Omusati Region, Ogongo and Onesi constituencies are completely cut off as roads to these areas are inaccessible.

All the roads leading to Onesi, Tsandi-Onesi, Onesi Epalela, Olupaka Onesi have been rendered inaccessible, revealed the Governor of Omusati Region, Erginus Endjala.
Other affected roads in Omusati Region are Tsandi-Omugulugombashe, Okahao-Outapi and the one from Outapi to Onesi.

“Even the road that runs through the town to Onesi is under water,” Endjala said.
The details were made known at the Roads Authority (RA) briefing with the governors of Omusati and Oshana regions. The RA delegation was led by its chief executive officer Conrad Lutombi.

The RA team is visiting the two regions to familiarise themselves with the situation and to find solutions to making the roads accessible again, especially with normal floods reported to have worsened in light of heavy rainfall.

Lutombi said district roads are seasonal roads which are prone to damage during harsh seasons, adding that they are aimed at connecting villages and other social aspects of the communities.

“It is not a trunk road where we invest resources to ensure accessibility throughout. You will have wash-aways, you will have damage and that is why we have a maintenance team,” said Lutombi.

Lutombi further dismissed misinterpretations of individuals suggesting that RA has wasted money on the construction of district roads, saying that such roads have a life span of about seven years and thereafter need to be re-gravelled.

Meanwhile a maintenance team has already been deployed to monitor the affected road segments and to repair repairable segments to make the roads accessible again.

Some sections of the roads that have been washed away will only be repaired when the water flow diminishes because some culverts are blocked, Oshana Governor Clemens Kashuupulwa briefed the RA delegation.

RA has issued a directive to close the damaged roads while a directive will be issued to unblock culverts to ease the flow of excess rainwater.

Kashuupulwa also reported to RA that the rehabilitation of the Oluno-Uukwiyu Uushona road is moving at a snail’s pace because the traditional authorities were not consulted to permit RA to abstract road usage materials from their villages. New Era last year reported on the deplorable conditions of the Oluno-Uukwiyu Uushona gravel road.

Kashuupulwa appealed for concerted communication to avoid blocking of developmental projects in the region.

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