Guest Contributor | Aug 22, 2017 | 0
Double lane bridge across Kavango river
The new bridge will enable the optimal utilisation of the Walvis Bay port and the Trans Caprivi Highway. The bridge is a vital link in this all-important corridor linking the rest of Namibia to the Caprivi and to Zambia, Zimbabwe and the norhtern parts of Botswana.
Previously, the Divundu Bridge was a single lane bridge on a 582 km stretch of the Trans-Caprivi Highway, before construction began in October 2010 to transform it into a double lane structure. Final completion of the work in April this year saw the bridge strengthened and widened from a single lane to a dual lane complemented by pedestrian walkways on both sides. Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Errki Nghimtina, who officially opened the bridge on 18 June, stressed the importance of the bridge to the economy saying the fact that road infrastructure enables tourism and helps foster an environment conducive to job creation and business opportunities, cannot be over emphasised.
The Divundu Bridge, which is part of the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi corridor and SADC regional trunk road network, is the only means of crossing the Kavango River for several hundred kilometers in the north eastern part of the country. The bridge enables government services such as medical, education and security to access the Caprivi region. “It is the intention of our Government to attract meaningful investment and provide all-weather accessibility to various social amenities such as hospitals and schools,” Nghimtina said addressing a large crowd that had gathered to witness the official opening.
Governor of the Okavango Region, Maurus Nekaro, applauded both the Ministry of Works and Transport and its implementing agency, the Roads Authority for building the bridge, saying that the project will facilitate trade and further create employment. He appealed to neighbouring countries to follow the example of the Namibian government and build bridges to allow easy movement of people. The governor said the bridge mitigated the risk of people drowning or being attacked by animals that live in the water.He therefore urged the residents of Divundu not to remove any objects from the bridge or vandalise it as it is for their own safety.
The reconstruction of the bridge cost the government N$19 million and created 43 jobs for the local people, who received on the job training as bricklayers, steel fixers as well as site clerks. The project is one of the major bridge-improvement and construction projects that the government has embarked upon to improve mobility of people and cargo between regions. The Divundu bridge is the only surface link to the Caprivi region on Namibian territory.