Keetmanshoop-Keetmanshoop Rural Constituency Councillor Elias Kharuxab says the major gravel roads in his constituency are in a very bad state due to lack of maintenance.
Speaking to New Era, Kharuxab said the gravel roads linking Koës to Keetmanshoop and Aroab, and that of Aroab to Keetmanshoop are in dire need of maintenance, as they have become almost impossible to drive on.
He said the roads have not been maintained for some time now and the potholes, stones and dust are becoming a danger to road users, saying if not attended to as a matter of urgency a lot of lives could be lost. He said vehicle owners also have to spend more on maintenance and repairs to damage caused by the poorly maintained roads.
“These roads will cause many accidents and take many innocent lives if not attended to as a matter of urgency and our cars, especially small cars, keep breaking down,” Kharuxab noted.
The councillor, who is a constant user of the roads, noted that apart from the risk of losing lives, the road is hindering development and business opportunities for areas, such as Koes and Aroab, because business people are reluctant to invest in the villages due to the state of the roads, as it is not easy to access these areas.
He further said the maintenance of the roads would not only benefit local people, but promote tourism in the area, as more tourists will be willing to visit places of attraction in that area if the roads are in better condition, and this in turn will provide an income to local businesses in the area.
He said the roads have not been maintained because the contractor stopped working after the contract came to an end and pleaded with the Roads Authority (RA) to get someone on board as soon as possible, or to temporarily extend the previous contract to ensure people in the area have better roads.
Kharuxab also spoke on the upgrading of the Aroab-Keetmanshoop gravel road to bitumen standard, saying the feasibility study has been done and the report finalised. He was hopeful that the construction would begin when funds permit.
“We really look forward to the roads, although we are cognisant of the current economic situation, but we hope that as soon as this improves we can move forward with this project,” he said.