The construction of a new, modern multi-purpose open market behind the Etango complex is on schedule for completion as planned, despite financial constraints, says the Oshakati Town Council.
Work on the project, supervised by Lithon Project Consultants, started in 2010 and the market will be fully operational by 2014 as scheduled, said Project Manager and Oshakati Town Council Manager of Planning and Properties, Orestus Shilunga. However, sources close to the project told New Era that the project is behind schedule and was supposed to be completed in June this year.
Shilunga was however sketchy regarding the completion details, saying the delay is due to a "shortage" of funds in the town council.
"So far N$19 million has been spent on the first phase. The remaining phases will be completed based on the availability of funds, but we are within the planned schedule. I can assure you that if the funds are available we can complete the project within ten months from now," he said.
Another source, who refused to be identified, revealed money is being released based on availability.
"The Oshakati open market when completed will be the biggest in the country and will be an important part of the town's economic infrastructure. The project is one of the major capital projects being implemented by the Oshakati Town Council for the period 2009 to 2013," Shilunga said.
The complex will house a state-of-the-art bus terminal, an okapana (traditional meat roasting) section, market area, wood selling section, arts and crafts section, a viewing tower and administrative block and other facilities, with total building costs totalling N$70 million.
The first phase that includes the bus terminal, barbeque facilities, cooling facilities and a market area has already been completed.
Shilunga said that due to the lack of funding not enough workers have been employed to fast-track the overall completion of the project.
The town council has already requested funding from various sources and received some positive responses, especially from the Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development.
Another challenge, according to Shilunga, are the rains that disrupt the construction process. "As you know here in the north rain has rather become too frequent to the extent of disturbing the construction work," he said.
The town council is planning to build a modern, innovative and efficient open market that will also market the town to investors. The core of the open market precinct will be the relocated old open market and the chaotic bus terminal currently located along the main road and the Okatana service station.
"Phase two which will include a central viewing tower and work on a mall walkway connecting the main road with the open market has just commenced," Shilunga said. "The new tower will, once it is completed, be the tallest free-standing structure in Namibia's northern regions," he added.
"The new bus terminal loading dock area is 80 percent complete, and we are beginning work on the paving of the loading zone," he said.
"The bus terminal will be organised and the current chaos of bag snatching and intimidation will be something of the past."
The official added that the project will allow informal traders the opportunity to sell their wares in an area bustling with economic vitality.
"One of the challenges was to design a market that will be able to continue trade during times of flooding. Through their design, Lithon has ensured that floods and storm water will be directed in such a manner as to allow market activities to continue," Shilunga explained.
The flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic has been designed to complement the market. Electrical and mechanical elements such as lighting and cooling facilities were designed to be effective yet energy efficient, while at the same time being robust and able to withstand the conditions experienced in the Oshana Region.
The bulk of the money for the project was sourced from the town council while the Ministry of Trade and Industry also made available some funding.
Source : allafrica.com
Posted on : 15 Jun,2017