Helao Nafidi-The Ministry of Works and Transport has launched its N$12.8 billion northern road master plan that will create more than 3,000 tarred and gravel roads and about a 1,000 earth roads, which it will implement the project over the next 20 years.
The Master Plan for Sustainable Transport for Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana and Oshikoto involves collaboration with the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
The plan envisages that Oshikoto will take the biggest chunk of the roads with about 35 percent, followed by Omusati with 31 percent, Ohangwena 21 percent and Oshana 11 percent.
Cabinet has yet to endorse the plan before its actual implementation kicks off.
The plan is estimated to cost about N$12 billion, but the final cost is likely to fluctuate as prices keep escalating.
The ministry has earmarked the next roads master plan for the coast.
The northern roads master plan follows the Windhoek Sustainable Urban Transport plan, which the city authorities launched in 2015.
The northern plan seeks to make provision for cyclists, pedestrians and people living with disabilities on the already existing roads, and those the country will still construct.
It further seeks to have scheduled transport between the rural and urban areas and between cities as well as ensure each regional capital has reliable, efficient and affordable public bus services.
Speaking at the launch Minister of Works and Transport Alpheus! Naruseb said the plan would ensure the transport system in the four regions was effective in meeting the needs of residents and businesses over the next 20 years.
“The plan looks at the importance of planning for the future in the four regions taking into account a forecast growing population, especially in urban areas, and the long distances travelled by those who live in remote areas to access services and facilities,” !Naruseb said.
In alignment with Vision 2030 and the National Development Plan 5 (NDP5), !Naruseb said the roads plan was a crucial instrument to fulfil the overall development goals of the country and went hand in hand with important national developments in the transport sector of the past years.
The Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa, who was present at the launch, confirmed the ministry’s willingness and preparedness to support the sustainable development of the transport sector in the four regions.
Her ministry would support the plan because it was a crucial aspect for overall sustainable development, economic prosperity and for social integration for both urban and rural areas.
The ministry handed the plan over to the governors of the four regions.