Govt Launches Road Construction Projects in Somali Region at Cost of 6bln Birr

ADDIS ABEBA – Ethiopian Road Authority (ERA) has launched 300 Kilometer long road construction projects which will ease road transportation between Eastern Ethiopia and neighboring nations.

Top government officials, including Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, have attended the launching event at Gode Town of Somali region on Thursday.

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The authority said the construction would cost a total of 6 billion birr.

The roads to be constructed include the Gode-Kelofo Lot-1, Gode-Hargele Lot and Yale-Dana Lot-3 construction projects to be completed within 4 years, according to the Authority.

‘Market linkage’

A Chinese firm Railway 7 has been contracted to build 94.8km-long Gode-Kelafo with a budget of more than 1.53bln birr while a local contractor Fal General Contractor tasked to carry out the 100km-long Gode Hargele road project at cost of 1.8bln birr.

Cross Land Construction enterprise, another local firm, is working on upgrading Tale-Dana garvel road to asphalt with an outlay of over 1.1bln birr.

“In addition to connecting local communities, the roads will enable market linkage and make Gode town a development center,” said Abiy who was accompanied by his deputy, Demeke Mekonnen, President of Somali Region Mustafa Oumer and President of Oromia Region Shimelis Abdisa, among others, at the launching event.

The road will be key in reducing the current traffic jam in the major road that links Ethiopia to Port of Djibouti by serving as an alternative route, officials said.

More Construction

Later that day, Abiy, together with the visiting officials, launched a 1.8 billion birr Gelelesh-Degehamdo road construction project in Somali region.

Authorities say the road is part of a 166km long Jijiga-Gelelesh-Degehamdo road.

The remaining 56 km road of the project has already been completed at a cost of 1 billion birr, and was inaugurated today, according to ERA.

“The road is of great importance as it is the main development corridor of the region,” Abiy said.

Roads construction constitutes the largest federal government spending item, with 58.8bln Birr allocated in the current 2020/21 fiscal year for a total of 284 new roads, 72 road rehabilitations, and 5 new bridges.

Featured Image: Abiy C) was accompanied by his deputy, Demeke, President of Somali Region Mustafa and President of Oromia Region Shimelis at the launching event of the construction project on Thursday.

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