A Look At Otjinene’s New Tarred Roads… and Its Six Women Drivers

When Government decided a few years ago to shorten the route for trucks from Botswana to Grootfontein, en route to Angola and Zambia, it did not overlook Otjinene.

The construction of this tarred road has allowed the village of Otjinene to grow, and brought along with it a number of other development potentials for the area.

Today, Otjinene has been upgraded from a settlement area to a village council, with a council and a mayor. Otjinene is now the main economic centre in the Otjinene Constituency of the Omaheke Region, situated about 150 kilometres from Gobabis.

With its newly tarred road, this village is about to experience an upsurge in job opportunities that will come with the construction of a road from Otjinene to Grootfontein.

Sadly though only a few drivers are registered in Otjinene, with only six female drivers out of the 185 registered, according to figures from Road Authority. It is a low figure of women drivers, compared to the statistics of women drivers in towns such as Oshakati, where one out of every three drivers on the road is a woman.

The figures from the Road Authority show that Oshakati has 5,472 women drivers out of 17,233 registered drivers.

Other interesting figures show that Otjinene has a total of 296 registered vehicles, of which only 51 are sedans, perhaps because surrounding Otjinene are farmers who use bakkies to transport livestock to auctions. There are also three heavy-duty trucks and three heavy-duty buses, and seven light medium trucks.

Construction of a better quality road, means smooth driving between Otjinene and Gobabis, especially for businesspeople who travel to Gobabis to buy stock for their businesses. But it also means that the farming community around Otjinene now has a better road on which to transport livestock to auctions at Gobabis and other near-by settlements, in the quest to get better prices.

These perceived increases in the movement of goods on the road between Gobabis and Otjinene, mean more vehicles on the road between the two towns and ultimately more licensed drivers too.

With only six women drivers out of 185 registered ones, it seems women empowerment is still to reach Otjinene. Perhaps one of the key developmental areas council should focus on is to empower the inhabitants of Otjinene to have driver’s licences to make use of this new development.

Unfortunately there are no official data available as to the number of donkey carts that are roaming the streets of Otjinene. Donkey carts and its drivers do not require registration.

Source : New Era