On 10 June 2019, the first 10 access roads for climate adaptation in the Omusati Region were inaugurated by Hon. Minister of Works and Transport (MWT), John Mutorwa and the Counselor for Development Cooperation at the German Embassy, Ms. Gerlinde Sauer. The Governor of the Omusati Region, traditional authorities, the CEO of RA, Mr. Conrad Lutombi, and his team, as well as Dr. Stoll from German Development Bank KfW, attended the ceremony.
The inauguration, which encompassed all 10 access roads, took place at access Road no. 16. Along with an additional 21 access roads, of which 8 are under construction and 13 will be implemented during phase two later this year. The roads are part of the program ‘Access Roads for Climate Adaptation in Northern Namibia’, which is co-funded by the Republic of Namibia and the Federal Republic of Germany via KfW. The program supports the Namibian Government’s efforts to provide access to villages, towns, schools and clinics for communities which are at risk of being isolated during the rainy season. Within the financial cooperation framework, the German Government will provide up to 8.8 million Euro (132 million Namibian Dollars ) to build 130 km of roads.
Access Roads for Climate Adaptation to reduce the vulnerability of the rural population in northern regions of Namibia
During the rainy season, and due to climate change, the northern regions are increasingly affected by floods, making it difficult for people in rural areas to access essential services such as those offered by health clinics, schools, police stations and shops. The objective of the Access Roads for Climate Adaptation program is to reduce the vulnerability of the rural population due to extreme weather conditions and negative effects of climate change. This shall be achieved by guaranteeing all year access to up to 45 schools and health care facilities by building approximately 130 km of all-weather access road links from existing roads to isolated areas.
Additionally, the program builds on the German-Namibian development cooperation within the Labour-Based Road Construction program which develops and trains SMEs in the construction of gravel roads using labour-based methods. Emerging contractors, who have gained experience from past involvement in Labor-Based road construction, are trained under this program and are chosen to construct the access roads. This facilitates additional job creation in the regions, as well as assists the emerging contractors to grow and add to their experience. Under the Labor-Based Road Construction Program, more than 700 km of roads have been constructed with grant financing from Germany of 900 million Namibian Dollars (60 Million Euro).
Continued cooperation in the transport sector
At the inauguration, Ms. Gerlinde Sauer, Counselor for Development Cooperation, underlined that “transport is a basic need for everyone – to enable the people of this country to have access to work, social facilities, medical care and participate in society. The Transport Sector is therefore one of the pillars of our development cooperation with Namibia since 1995, with more than 2 billion Namibian Dollars provided by Germany for transport related projects.”
Dr. Uwe Stoll, Director of the KfW Windhoek Office, emphasized that “as we come together today to celebrate the inauguration of this road, we also look back on the long and successful cooperation with the Roads Authority. Since 1995, more than 1.500 km of roads have been constructed across Namibia as a result of the collaboration between German Financial Cooperation and the Roads Authority. We look forward to continued involvement in the transport sector in Namibia”.
Minister Mutorwa commented that “today marks a joyous occasion as we inaugurate 10 access roads and officially and permanently connect the people of this area with access to vital facilities to help them improve their living conditions. The Access Roads’ program is truly a flagship project, combining job creation and local SME development as an integral part of road construction, and ultimately leading to the inclusiveness of remote communities in the local economy, as well as the educational and health care sectors. These are all key aspects of the development of the Namibian roads’ sector and we are pleased to co-finance this program jointly with the Government of Germany”.