Poor roads stunt development in Kunene

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Nuusita Ashipala
Opuwo

The slow implementation of infrastructure development in the Kunene region, is depriving the inhabitants of essential services such as network coverage and access to decent roads.
The inhabitants said that because of the lack of proper roads, sick people continued to die on their way to the hospital while some pregnant women were known to have delivered on the road.

There are clinics in the region, but in most cases, they are too far away and the community has to travel vast distances to access health facilities.

Apart from accessing health facilities, the conditions of the roads are so bad that people have to be on the rocky roads for hours even for shorter distances.

At a village such as Otjiu West, the villagers take almost a day to walk a distance of 105 km to the nearest health facility.

Governor of Kunene Region Angelika Muharukua said it, required at least three days for some people to travel to and from hospitals and clinics in Opuwo.

In addition to a lack of proper access roads, there is also an outcry over poor mobile phone network coverage.

At Otjiu West, the situation compels community members to climb up a mountain in order to receive network coverage.

“We used to climb up that mountain until one boy fell off,” Salatiel Rukuma related as he pointed to the mountain they go to for network coverage.
Rukuma said the next village with network coverage was about 70 kilometres away.
Teopard Nderura from Ombombo said, there was also no mobile network coverage at his village.

He said the areas that have network are too far away from where they live.
They are fortunate to have landline telephones, but they do not always function.
“We receive calls from these landlines sometimes, but unfortunately we cannot make calls,” Nderura said.

In addition, to network coverage, much of the community also does not have access to radio signals.

“We cannot speak to family members from here, and even worse we do not get to hear what is going on in the country because we cannot listen to the radio,” Nderura complained.
The villagers claim they have reported their ordeals to the relevant offices, but those responsible have not done much to solve the problem.

Muharukua said she was aware of the inhabitant’s plight, but the situation remained a challenge especially now that government had cut the budget.

 

 

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