The transport of high volumes of cargo through Namibia’s main harbour has had a devastating effect on the streets of Walvis Bay.
In this regard, the Road Fund Administration has agreed to increase its funding to the Walvis Bay municipality for the maintenance and repair of streets that have been steadily degrading.
The Walvis Bay Municipality recently received N$6, 7 million to fund maintenance and repair projects.
The Mayor of Walvis Bay, Trevino Forbes said during the most recent council meeting that the transportation of heavy cargo has had a devastating effect on the drivability of especially streets while roads feeding into the harbour town are also being impacted negatively.
“Yet, the burden of road maintenance and repair rested squarely on the shoulders of the town’s ratepayers. Council went as far as budgeting N$19 million for the 2022/2023 financial year for maintenance and rehabilitation for 60 road sections totalling about 50 kilometres,” Forbes said.
He said that in order to assist the harbour to function at an optimal level, the RFA decided to budget for and avail N$248 million over the next five years for the purpose of street and road rehabilitation.
“It is indeed great news for the town. We now have no more excuses, and work on our roads must commence as soon as possible and, in all earnest,” Forbes said.
The Walvis Bay Corridor Group (WBCG), last year during a consultation process, explored the possibility of the RFA assisting with the rehabilitation of Hanna Mupetami Street which is the main conduit for cargo to the port.
At the time the projects manager of the WBCG, Gilberts Boois, during the consultation process, explained this specific road carries the most cargo.
“It is not fair for the municipality to carry the burden of the cost of maintenance and repair alone. It only makes sense for one to upgrade that status of the street to that of a national road,” he said during the meeting.
Local authorities currently require an average of between N$10 million and N$20 million annually for the maintenance of surfaced streets. This excludes the construction of new road infrastructure and additions, such as pavements.
The upgrade of the Hanna Mupetami and Sam Nujoma Avenue intersection in Walvis Bay that commenced in July this year has been completed.
As part of the continuing project to upgrade and maintain the streets of Walvis Bay, the intersection of Hanna Mupatemi Street and Sam Nujoma Avenue was completed late last year.
The project was delayed for some weeks because construction workers discovered that the pipelines beneath were in a dilapidated state as well and that repair work had to be completed before the upgrade project could continue.
Repair work to the intersection amounted to about N$4, 2 million.