Floods halt capital projects in Zambezi


Albertina Nakale

Windhoek-The current heavy floods in the Kabbe North and South Constituencies of Zambezi Region has brought construction work on several major multi-million national projects to a standstill, as the areas where the projects are located are no longer accessible to contractors.

Zambezi Regional Council’s deputy director for planning and development, Cletius Mubita, this week told New Era that about seven major projects have been affected and have come to a complete standstill due to the heavy floods.

The largest capital project affected, he said, is the construction of Namalubi-Isize-Luhonono road in Kabbe North. Mubita said the construction of the district road 3508 in Kabbe North was due be completed at a cost of N$436 million over 30 months, after commencing in January 2015.

But, he noted, some parts of the section between Isize and Luhonono have now completely been cut off by water.

Nexus Civil Construction company is the main contractor on the project.
The new road is 57 kilometres long, of which 22 kilometres run from Namalubi to Isize, with a further 33 km from Isize to Luhonono. He noted that the work done so far was on the 22 kilometre stretch, which is located on higher ground.

Another project affected by the flooding is the construction of Schuckmansberg Hostel in Kabbe North. The project is estimated to cost in excess of N$60 million.
The site handover was done on August 11, 2016 and the projected completion date is December 2019.

“The project is at a standstill. The materials cannot be delivered due to the inaccessibility of the areas. This started when the region received excess rainfall followed by heavy rainfall,” Mubita noted.

Work on two maternity shelters that were being built to relieve the burden of pregnant women in Kabbe North and South has also ground to a halt.

Mubita said most women cross into neighbouring Zambia to deliver their babies, as it is closer, hence the construction of such shelters for them.

The two maternity shelters are located at Schuckmansberg (Kabbe South) and Itomba (Kabbe North) and the cost of the two prefabricated structures is estimated at around N$1 million each.

Mubita further said these projects were still at an initial implementation stage, but due to heavy rainwater and flooding the projects could not be further implemented until the waters subside.

Work at Mpukano Primary School has also been affected by floods. The construction of a two-classroom block at Mpukano by Capital Technical Service Company, to the value of N$812,569, was also affected.

Mubita said construction of the classroom block is already at the ringbeam level and is about 50 percent complete. He added that the contract was awarded in October 2016 and the initial expected date of completion was February 25 this year.
“This contract has been suspended and will resume in September 2017 when the water subsides,” he pointed out.

Additionally, he said, the construction of Muzii Clinic was still at the initial implementation stage, as due to excessive rainwater and flooding the project could not yet be implemented.

The cost of erecting the prefabricated structure is estimated at N$5 million.
Renovation of three classrooms and an administration block at Impalila Combined School has also come to a standstill due to the floods.

Mubita said although this project looks as if it was completed, the project is on the defect list to be attended to again after the floods.

Omatando Construction was contracted to do the renovations at the cost of some N$1,3 million. The handover was done on October 10 last year and the expected date of completion was January 10 this year.

Mubita said other projects may well be affected as the Zambezi River continues to rise. The river’s water level at Katima Mulilo has however remained steady for the past three days at 6.55 metres (m).

This is according to the Namibia Hydrological Services’ daily flood bulletin released yesterday, which indicates that the water level is above normal and higher than this time last year.

Further, the bulletin indicates that the Zambezi floodplains are now flooded and that more floods are expected in the area in the on coming days.

The water level of Chobe River was recorded at Ngoma Bridge at 3.54m yesterday.
The Kavango River levels also show a slight rising, with Rundu currently at 5.55m and Nkurenkuru at 3.11m, while Mukwe recorded 3.37m.

According to NamWater, in other parts of the country, Von Bach dam now stands at 57.9 percent of capacity, Naute at 98.6 percent, Omatako at 55.9 percent, Swakoppoort at 35.8 percent and Oanob at 89.3 percent, while the Hardap Dam is 70.4 percent full.


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