On 21 July (tonight) shortly after sunset in Namibia’s world renowned Etosha National Park the gentle hum of at least ten road graders will stir the normally tranquil plains of that great white place into action, when at least 500km of gravel roads are put under the blade of the maintainer.
In this case a unique project by local enterpriser, Chris Theron, was launched to grade, rip and if needed, filled, roads in the park will be upgraded and maintained for the benefit of the hundreds of tourists travelling the area daily.
Work is done over the next ten days, with a target to grade between 80 and 100km’s per night when there are no other traffic around.
All roads in the park, all plus minus 500 km of it, will be attended to.
According to project-leader Chris Theron, an old hand in road construction and matters of conservation, the project is being done with the blessing and full cooperation of the Ministry of Environment (MET) that will be participate actively in getting the job done. ISAP and a number of other sponsors are involved, although the estimated N$500 000 needed to get the job done was not met as yet. More money must come in.
To say the least, in technical terms, the task is nothing less than magnificent in scope.
Ten road graders is to be utilised, inclusive of two on site in Etosha belonging to MET. These would be set up in trains of five or so each with strong LED lights, and each grader guiding the next until the last one in the series scrapes the gravel residue off the outside of the road. This should be a sight to behold for man and deer privileged to gaze upon this great gift to the tourist industry.
Hopefully the job can be done in 10 days, after which Mr. Theron will work on a plan for future maintenance.
Mr. Theron yesterday said the park is bone dry at this time and it would be a great advantage if the roads in Etosha can now have a make-over in anticipation of the rainy season when upkeep will be vital. In that regard he is willing to help with planning and working out an operational plan for an asset so important to Namibia.