Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

High anticipation for new roads

Akir Construction Private Limited Company is set to finish, in the current Ethiopian fiscal year 2011/12, the 82Km Beredimtu-Imi gravel road. This is part of the much anticipated 360Km Ginir-Eme-Berdimitu –Gode highway, connecting the Bale region of the Oromia regional state to the Somali regional state.
The 82Km  Beredimtu-Imi gravel road project, which includes several culverts and bridges, is expected to be finished and ready for traffic by June 2012 after three and half years of work. It will cost 497 million birr.  Dana and Associates is the consulting company.
According to Melese Mamo, Construction manager of Akir,  the project has so far encountered no safety issues. It will be seven meters wide in rural areas and 12 meters wide in cities.
The road project is expected to facilitate markets for the Somali regional farmers and semi-pastoralists that use the Wabishebelle river basin to produce fruits and other types of food items using irrigation methods.
Melese also said the road project, when completed, is expected to shorten the travel time to reach the areas particularly in the Somali region from the regional capital Jijiga.
In addition, Akir Construction has also started building the 65Km Debark-Buhayt (Semien Mountain National Park) asphalt road, in the Amhara regional state, at a total cost of just under 7 million birr. It is consulted by a local firm, Pan African consulting company.
Melese said the project will have seven meters of width in rural areas and 19 meters in urban areas.
However part of the road is being redesigned in order to pass through Mekane Birhan city in the Janomera Woreda, he said. The total length of the road  could in total reach 85Km, which in turn could also affect the project cost.
The new road will replace the road that previously passed through the Semien Mountain National Park endangering the park’s wildlife and ecosystem. The park is designated by the United Nations Educational and Social Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as an endangered natural site, Melese explained.
It will also have the additional benefit of giving tourists an alternative route, when they  visit Semien Mountain National Park.