Elections

 

The Minister of Works and Transport, John Mutorwa, has announced that plans to construct the Impalila Island Airdrome have advanced as the bid evaluation process for consultancy services was concluded in April this year, with bidders already notified of the evaluation outcome. 

"The successful consultant will be expected to design all required facilities, prepare bid documents, and assist in appointing a competent contractor to execute the construction of the airdrome, comprising a paved runway, the taxiway or apron, gravel access, a guard house, rest room infrastructure, and a perimeter fence. The activities as they are planned for this year with regards to the airdrome on the airstrip because we cannot have just beautiful roads here, the air is also part of our responsibilities, air transport infrastructure."

It is estimated that the project could cost N$27 million, with N$4.1 million to be spent on consultancy services and N$22 million for construction activities.

"This project is being implemented under the fencing of a state-owned project in the national budget of Namibia. The proposal received for consultancy services has been evaluated, so the point is that we have advanced in terms of the planning and eventual practical implementation of the airstrip, and I want to call upon people who live here so that when the time comes for people to start construction as you did here with the road, work with them, work together, and accommodate them so that the work is easily and quickly implemented."

The current airdrome on the island, mostly used to fly tourists in and out, is said to be in a dilapidated state with a gravel runway and runway reserve encroached by dense vegetation of grass, shrubs, and trees, contributing to low visibility during landing and take-off, a potential safety hazard for aircraft operation. 

The completion of the detailed design and pre-construction activities, including de-mining, environmental clearance, and compensation if required, are some of the planned interventions to be implemented in the current financial year.

The design of the project is estimated to take between six and eight months.

He said that budget provisions for the construction will be made available in the next few financial years upon completion of these activities.

Mutorwa announced the plans while addressing community members at the celebration of the official opening of low-level sealed roads on the island, hosted by the Roads Authority on Thursday.

The completion of the 25-kilometre road network cost N$60 million.

Such progress and development on the island, he said, have been long overdue, as the community has been waiting for too long. 

Mutorwa implored investors to look for opportunities that could further grow the island while also advising other ministries to consider having their services on the island for the citizens residing there to have access to them.

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Photo Credits
Roads Authority

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Author
Juliet Sibeso