ABOUT 57% of the communities situated in the area of Ompundja are not only affected by annual floods but also struggles to access services from the constituency because of the appalling state of the road leading to the settlement.
The areas worse affected are the villages of Ontako, Uupeke, Ombonde, and Oponona in the southern part of the Oshana Region.
Constituency councillor, Adolf Uunona said there is a need for bridges with the sole purpose of ensuring that people have access to much-needed and essential services such as health and others that may be required.
Uunona stated that currently the bridges in the three villages were constructed through food for work initiatives with materials availed by the regional council.
“When the water becomes too much deep, many of the people are left cut-off from essential services,” he said.
He indicated that those people are also cut-off from health facilities, schools and sometimes not even able to return to their farms.
Uunona noted that the Ompundja road was proclaimed in 1992, but has been due to finance nothing was done until today.
The Oshana Regional Governor, Elia Irimari said that currently the people only need three bridges in the southern part of the region.
He was of the opinion that better access to services will enable farmers to improve their revenue potential through intensified animal husbandry.
Irimari explained that temporary solutions will have to be found in the meantime, because an entirely new road will be constructed to replace the current one.
He explained that the short-term solution should again be a community initiative.
“We can’t sit around and wait for government to do everything on their own every time,” he said, adding that as farmers, people can come up with cost-effective answers.
Currently, the DR 3607 Road is only paved up to the Ompundja settlement.
The Roads Authority’s Chief Engineering Technician, Ashipala Iipinge said the construction of a new road to Ompundja will require about N$200 to N$300 million.
He noted that the construction of the DR3607 Road will require that it must be divided into phases because it will be a huge capital project.
“We will try to connect service providers to the road to ensure that people get access to the services they need,” he said.
Iipinge indicated that the Roads Authority spends about N$6 million on the maintenance of bitumen standard roads and about N$5 million to keep gravel roads in working order.