Saturday, January 22, 2022

Gumare’s infrastructure realities occupy council meeting

Gumare councilor Muqwa has requested that the council should come clear and stop making the public believe that the Gumare Infrastructure project, which comprises the construction of internal roads, bus rank with a terminal building and associated storm water drainage is finally complete and ready for takeover.

Despite the challenges encountered during implementation such as late acquisition of mining license and the unavailability of suitable gravel base material, council Chairman Latlhang Molonda said the project had been completed within budget, something which the area councilor refuted, considering some visible loopholes which he felt should be looked into before the official handing over.

Molonda said developments of this nature in built up areas always come with major consequences as houses are usually damaged during construction. He said to date has received 358 complaints, some of which are currently being addressed by the contractor.

In 2010, NWD councilors boycotted the handover ceremony of Maun bus rank because it did not have such other infrastructure like terminal building that they had wanted. Though now being used, the bus rank still does not have a terminal building and proper shades, and whenever there are rains, commuters flock into the nearby Choppies stores for cover.

Responding to the queries, Okavango Sub district council Physical Planner, Gabriel Mpofu, said because of continued water scarcity in Gumare the construction of drainage system was relevant.

He however said building it was impossible because there is no drainage network in the village.
Following an in-depth study on the project which has long been done, he said the other setback has been the lack of space, and that the money which they had been allocated has also been finished.

“We have since made a proposal at the Project review meeting recently for storm water drainage that we be granted at least P6.8 million. As it stands now there is nothing that we can do about it. You also need to understand that drainage is a project on its own. Gumare is also a built up area and was not constructed in a fashionable manner to accommodate drainage, and so our fear is that without drainage, there is very high possibility that water will flow into people’s homesteads,” said Mpofu.

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