Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Roads Authority (RA) Conrad Lutombi has revealed that his company is still seeking funds to replace washed out road signs and road side infrastructure in the next financial year.
This comes after members of Parliament raised concerns over factors that contribute to road accidents and over a very sharp curve in the newly proclaimed village council area of Tsandi in the Omusati region causing road accidents.
Recently Swapo backbencher in Parliament Leevi Katoma raised questions that Government has not done anything to rectify challenges associated with road users especially in major high ways. He also argued that recent road carnage statistics were as a result of the failure by the Government to make sure that the curve along the Tsandi highway is furnished with speed humps and well laid out road signs to protect drivers in the evening.
Responding to the arguments in Parliament Lutombi said RA is in the process of acquiring funds from both Government and developmental partners in a bid to have the challenges along the high rectified before next year.
“We are aware of the road signs that have faded away and we have already appointed a service provider that would be responsible for putting up the signs along the roads and we will soon start working on them as soon as funds are accessible,” he says.
Lutombi adds that, “About the sharp curve on the Tsandi to Onesi road, we are busy looking into it, however a detailed design has been done already but we can only start upgrading the Tsandi road by next year due to the availability of funds. We are currently busy with many projects such as upgrading the Karibib to Usakos road, Ongwediva to Ondangwa road as well as the Oranjemund to Roshpinah that we started working on since last year August.”
Although Lutombi mentions that the company is prioritising the road sings and the sharp curve can only be upgraded by the end of next year, Katoma argued saying that the community has requested on several times to the Ministry of Works and Transport to seriously consider some urgent remedial measures and rectify the situation.
Research shows that, at this particular junction mentioned above, the recent accident that occurred was in May 2016 in which one person has died horrifically were the accident occurred when driver entered at the sharp curve on a higher speed which made him to fail to control the vehicle and the vehicle overturned instantly as well as nine people have died on the Tsandi road.
Meanwhile, the latest road crush statistics paint a grim picture as the annual death the latest road crash statistics paint a grim picture as the annual death toll on Namibia’s roads continues to rise year after year.
The report shows that in 2015 4 210 road accidents occurred in 2015 which claimed 702 lives of mainly young men under the age of 36.
Overall,7 333 people were injured during 2015,according to the Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) funds 2015 crash and claims report, road crash facilities have become one of the leading causes of death in Namibia and the number is increasing, as evidenced by records dating to 2009.
The Road Authority which is responsible for managing the national road network with a view to achieve a safe and efficient road sector has explains that it has come up with new objectives to reduce road accidents.
“We have set out a budget worth N3 012 473 592 for 2015/2016 to make sure that we accomplish all our projects to improve the road network in Namibia and N$3 482 682 081 for 2016/2017 as well as N$5 320 623 466 for 2017/2018,” Lutombi says.
Adding that, “Our plans are to bring down the road conditions from 9% to 8% in our current strategic plan and our other focus is also to focus more on rural accessibility by constructing gravel roads and make sure that access roads to flood affected schools and clinics are constructed in the Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana, Kavango East and Zambezi Regions.”