By Kelvin Chiringa
The Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) has awarded a tender to Alke Building Works CC for the renovations of Okaukuejo Camp in the Etosha national park to the tune of N$1 million. NWR says it was spurred into action by negative sentiment in the media to the effect that Etosha had degenerated on standards to a disgusting point.
Alke Building Works CC won the tender after a request for sealed quotations, rather than an open bidding process.
A quick search on the internet shows that the company does not have a website although it appears to have been in existence for nearly seven years now. According to NWR Manager of Corporate Communications and Online Media, Mufaro Nesongano as per the Procurement Act 2015 (Act No 15 of 2015), emergency procurement was applied. This is defined as the “condition or quality of goods, equipment, building or publicly owned capital goods may seriously deteriorate, unless action is urgently and necessarily taken to maintain them in their actual value or usefulness”.
Nesongano said the quotes were requested from Telios, the company’s existing appointed project manager as well as the providers of the previous refurbishment to Okaukuejo, namely JDM Construction, Construction Unlimited and K.M.K. construction cc. “The initial round of requests for the above carried out in November 2018 did not yield competitive results. Therefore, further invitations to quote were sent out in December 2018 using the NWR list of preferred service providers.
Requests were sent to the attached service providers. An assessment was done by the NWR Procurement Committee considering amongst other cash flow constraints, nature of proposed repairs and timeframe.
Alke Building Works CC turned out to have submitted a competitive bid/quote and was awarded the renovation works,” said Nesongano. Nesongano further said five premier waterhole chalets were identified late last year as the most urgent in need of renovations. Documents seen by The Patriot show that the refurbishments include a swimming pool.
He said to avoid disruptions to tourists’ relaxation and for the facilities to be ready for high-season, i.e. June – October, the intention was to do these works during the low tourism season, from 01 November 2018 to 31 May 2019.
Due to difficulties in rescheduling prior bookings, the project commenced only last month and is estimated to be completed within two months, i.e. end of June 2019, said the spokesperson. Nesongano said as of late, NWR has been receiving severe criticisms on the state of its facilities, that is, the maintenance of its facilities. “For instance, opinion pieces and articles that appeared on 17 May 2019, in the Friday edition of The Namibian, titled “Beautiful Etosha is Disgusting for Tourists” by Ms. Sally Giel, “Real or perceived “Disgusting Etosha” by Dr. Ngarikutuke Tjiriange in the Windhoek Observer of 31 May 2019 and “Letting Etosha degenerate is economic suicide” in the New Era of 24 May 2019 by Dr. Ngarikutuke Tjiriange are cases in point. It is from the above context that the renovation works at Okaukuejo, and other NWR facilities, have to be understood. Significant improvements and maintenance in Etosha, including at Okaukuejo, was last carried out in 2008,” he said.