By Risco Lumamezi at Kongola
A new home made state of the art boat, Tulikonge Express is expected to hit the banks of the Zambezi River soon, to ferry flood victims of the Caprivi and tourists who want to view the beautiful fauna and flora of the Caprivi region.
This ferry is composed of a floating jetty and some air containers with a septic tank made in Kongola Village some 120 kilomemters in the western Caprivi.
The man behind the idea is Mr. Bornwell Kwibisa Mutelo ( 59) a teacher at Mayuni Senior Secondary School who is expected to retire in July this year .
He decided to build the boat by himself to help the flood affected communities as they need aid and while at the same time it will boost the local economy by introducing water transport to locals and foreign nationals especially tourists and the researchers.
According to Mr. Mutelo, the idea was realized after his night mares in dreaming people who were drowning and dying under water and he helped them (people) to make river reeds after saving their lives in 2008.
“ I had a dream when I was a teacher at Sanjo Senior Secondary School, because I could see people dying above water, I decided that I should do something because that was a vision I was shown by God ” he explains.
He then later got someone to help him in constructing the ferry while himself managed to dig from his pocket as he was earning a small salary and he sacrificed his wages to buy every material needed in constructing the boat.
He says his ferry is called ‘Tulikonge Express” will be also used as a mean of transport to bridge the gap in order to help school learners and researchers in Caprivi and the entire country of Namibia.
He also received a donation of N$25000.00 from Caprivi Regional Council for buying some of the materials last year.
“My main objective was to promote tourism in Namibia and I designed this boat for the founding father , our president, ministers , members of the oppositions and school learners and students who want to view the Zambezi river.” He says.
His boat is designed with different national symbols of Namibia that consists of all different colours of the political parties of Namibia.
He says, Tulikonge Express will be used in ferrying people from Katima Mulilo to Impalila. In Caprivi, residents of Impalila island have been using road transport over the years with travel emergency permits and passports via Ngoma boarder post between Namibia and Botswana to Kasane , which according to Mr. Mutelo the architect of the new boat this will be the story of the past as people will be travelling from Katima to Impalila without travel documentations as they will be moving in the Namibian soil.
It is constructed and designed with toilets, septic tanks and 64 seats.“ I decided to make some seats numbering 64, each consists of four seats and I made a corridor between ”
The ferry is well designed with a table of drinks and other stuffs on front with a wooden carving of an elephant.
The trade mark of his ferry defines peace which is called Tulikonge in sifwe language which laterally means peace and tranquility. Other words are written as Cibono Cetu which also a sifwe name means our wealth.
Mr. Mutelo adds that he has spent an amount of over hundred thousand Namibia dollars in building the boat.
His wife Mrs Juliet Mutelo (43) , a teacher at Kongola Combined School sacrificed more by digging dipper from her wallet to meet the objectives of the new boat “ My wife was a bit negative when I started some constructions of the boat because she spent much on the project but now she is positive and very happy with me.” he says.
People will be paying for the transportations in order to recover his costs and the consumptions of the fuel.
The amused Mr. Mutelo stresses that his ferry is the first of its kind in the country “ it is made in Namibia particularly in the Caprivi region”.
He adds on that during the inauguration of his ferry he will announce people who have helped him financially and in kind .
He further calls for nation building, unity and hard work . “everything is possible and if you start a project alone you will end up with many people ”.
Mr. Mutelo further calls for other social groups and individuals (Samaritans) who still want to assist him financially to deposit in this account:B.K Mutelo, 2722606677, Standard Bank, Katima Mulilo Branch, Branch code: 080672 and can also reach him on his mobile phone +264813338801.