Elections

 

Some frustrated residents of the Onesi and Tsandi constituencies in the Omusati Region have expressed dissatisfaction with the delay in the upgrading of Epalela-Onesi-Tsandi gravel road to bitumen standards.

The group held a demonstration and petitioned the Omusati Regional Governor, Erginus Endjala, saying road users are frustrated over the long overdue upgrading of the road.

They say, over the years, their cars have become unroadworthy due to the bad conditions of the road, which is over 31 years old and allegedly seldom receives maintenance, making them risky to drive on.

The road, which stretches for 47 kilometers, links the Tsandi village council with Ruacana and Outapi, where residents get access to health care services and other government services.

The group's spokesperson, Aina Isaac, says the road is now frequently used due to an increase in population, even by heavy-duty trucks, which worsens the condition.

"We, as the Onesi constituency community, feel left out and neglected by our beloved government, which does not fully understand our frustrations with the lack of progress when it comes to this road on which our lives are highly dependent. As a community, we believe 31 years of waiting is too long and that the upgrading of this vital road is long overdue. We remain hopeful, however, that the governor and all of our leaders are noting this frustration and that our tears will be heard."

Following receipt of the petition, Omusati Governor Erginus Endjala stated that the road was to be upgraded, but it was later discovered that the initial designs were flawed, preventing the tender from being advertised.

"Year in and year out, we are prioritizing road infrastructure in our region, and number one has been Epalela, Onesi, and Tsandi, followed by the road to Ombafi-Epato, which connects the office of the regional council in Ogongo. I'm not going to sugarcoat the fact that 31 years of waiting is simply too much for anyone, and I'd like to applaud our community members who are petitioning peacefully and who are committed to the issue of "no politics, just development."

The group has given Endjala until February 28 of next year to respond to their petition. Endjala said the contractor will be on-site by then.

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Author
Ndapanda Shuuya