2.4 FUTURE DEVELOPMENT
Despite its many problems the Roads Division of the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication has succeeded in performing a highly developed roads infrastructure in large parts of Namibia. Approximately 1,5 million tons of freight is carried by road annually. If the distance over which the freight is carried, is taken into consideration road transport generates approximately 740 million ton kilometres annually.
Namibia's population is increasing steadily and priorities like education, manpower training and development, housing, health, stimulation of labour intensive economic activities and other social requirements for so far under-privileged population groups will play a much more important role in the future. Without necessary infrastructural measures any meaningful growth in the economy cannot be expected. It is absolutely essential to use the available and restricted capital investment funds for the realisation of necessary infrastructural projects in the most economical manner.
Namibia has, as mentioned above, more kilometres of road per head of population than any other country in Africa, including the Republic of South Africa. But, nevertheless, much remains to be done - roads that are built have to be maintained and this is a steadily increasing heavy financial and technical burden. The present state of unequal development of the roads infrastructure means, however, that assessing accessibility of the common man on the street to means of road transport suggests poorer access, especially in the Namibian north, than in many independent African countries. This heavy burden on the Namibian infrastructural sector has to be overcome by the development of cost and quality optimised roads models on the basis of an appropriate low-cost and low-volume road principle.A lot of projects are still to be done i.e. to build rural feeder roads for the development of agriculture and agro-based industries, especially in Owamboland, Okavango and the Caprivi. A sizeable number of human settlements in these areas have no access to any classified road. There are also serious deficiencies in external links with independent African countries in the north and especially the east. Furthermore, one of the challenges is the construction of low-cost roads with " Namibia-Adapted-Techniques", especially rural feeder roads, in the hitherto underdeveloped former "homelands".
To optimise the available funds a different approach in the design concepts as well as construction methods for appropriate low-volume roads will be required, based on cost and quality optimised road models which will be investigated in chapters 5 to 8