Access critical for development

29 November 2017 | Infrastructure

The governor for Ohangwena Region, Usko Ngwaamwa, says his region needs more access road to make life easier for community members and employees who offer services at institutions in remote areas.

Nghaamwa says most of the communities in his region, especially in the Epembe, Omundaungilo, Oshikunde, Eenhana and Okongo constituencies, are inaccessible due to sandy tracks that connect their villages.

He says these areas are far from roads, which makes the lives of people living there difficult.

The western part of the region is situated in the Cuvelai Delta and is flood prone during the rainy season, while the eastern part is sandy.

“We have people who live in those areas and they need services. We have people staying in those areas serving at schools and clinics that are giving services to our people. All these people are affected by this situation because it is always difficult for them to get there,” Nghaamwa says.He says some of these people just remain at their duty stations because there is no way they can reach towns. Nurses at clinics are also struggling because ambulances and outreach vehicles cannot reach some clinics.

“Omuhongo clinic in Epembe Constituency is the most affected clinic. It is difficult to access it as even four-wheel-drive government vehicles struggle to get there.

“Affected schools are many and some of the teachers at those schools are working under stress because of the situation. Even buying cars is difficult for them because they are required to buy vehicles that can access these places and they are expensive.”

Nghaamwa says roads are needed to support life. For example, when people at Ombaba village in the Oshikunde Constituency were experiencing a serious water crisis he made several attempts to send a water tanker to them but failed.

“I approached the ministry of defence and they provided me with a four-by-four water tanker truck and we took water there. The tanker only got halfway when it became stuck in a sandy track.

“Soldiers told me that the place can only be easily accessed by a six-by-six truck. We ended up giving the water to people in the area where we got stuck and we went back.”

While opening the road from Etomba to Omundaungilo in the Ohangwena Region this month, works and transport minister Alpheus !Naruseb said the road would make life easier for the people in that area.

He said since agriculture was the main economic activity in the area, inhabitants would benefit from increased trade and cheaper inputs and the road would also facilitate access to external markets and thus promote the development of alternative economic activities.

“Moreover, the completion of this road will contribute significantly to the development of the Ohangwena Region. Various environmental and social benefits are expected from this project, for example, public transport will now increase for the benefit of the majority of people who do not own vehicles,” !Naruseb said.

“I am strongly committed to ensure that the transformation process goes into the most marginalised communities so that they too are beneficiaries of development. Our ministry adheres to the principle of enhancing, rehabilitation and development of all sectors and the maintenance of transport infrastructure as the priority policy, which could help our country to achieve success in poverty reduction.”

ILENI NANDJATO