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Citation Information

Type Conference Paper - 8th Africa Transportation Technology Transfer Conference, Livingstone, 8-10 May, 2017
Title Promoting rural access and mobility in Northern Namibia: an integrated approach
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
URL http://www.transport4people.com.na/sites/default/files/documents/Starkey-etal-2017-ImprovingRuralAcc​essinNorthernNamibia-T2-Livingstone-May2017-Final-v170228_0.pdf
Abstract
The Namibian Government, with support from Germany through its agency GIZ, is
developing an integrated transport master plan for Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana and
Oshikoto Regions in Northern Namibia. Planning studies considered all urban, interurban
and rural transport modes. This paper discusses rural access issues and reviews
options for improving rural mobility. It draws on international experiences and
discussions with rural residents, transport operators, private-sector suppliers and national,
regional and local authorities. Rural stakeholders consulted differed by gender, age,
occupation and abilities and included users and operators of several transport modes.
Rural people need access to medical services, schools, markets, employment, incomegeneration
and other services. Individuals have their own priorities, but all want timely,
dependable, affordable, comfortable and safe transport services. Multi-client taxis,
minibuses and buses operate on Namibia’s inter-urban roads. Small gravel and earth roads
generally lack ‘conventional’ transport services. Operators of pickups (‘bakkies’) carry
passengers for reward, although these are seldom dedicated passenger transport services.
The fares (10¢ USD per kilometre) and relative discomfort appear acceptable, but
unreliability is problematic. With bakkies in most villages, emergency transport is
generally available. Some people use bicycles and motorcycles but Namibia presently
lacks a ‘critical mass’ of users to stimulate efficient private sector support services.
Rural people in Northern Namibia expressed interest in motorcycles that provide major
rural transport benefits in many countries. These and other transport options need
assessing in context (sandy tracks, annual inundations, unique socio-economic situation).
Pilot assessments are suggested to determine affordable, effective and safe rural transport
options. These could include bicycles, electric bicycles, motorcycles and three-wheelers
for individuals, and for linking villages to roads with transport services. Pilot scheduled
services using passenger-friendly pickups could be developed. The vision is promotion
of assessed, proven and complementary rural transport services throughout the regions,
with training, safety and support systems.

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