Environmental study completed
The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has completed the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the 43Km Debre Birhan-Ankober road, which will help it obtain international financing from the World Bank.
Local company Core Consulting Engineers conducted the environmental and social impact assessment at a cost of 46.7 million birr.
According to ERA’s public relations office, the primary purpose of conducting such a study is to ensure that the environmental effects of the proposed road are adequately and appropriately considered in the design and construction so as to have an environmentally sound, socially acceptable and cost effective project. The authority statement indicated that the EIA incorporates and reflects all the policies, and proclamations endorsed by the government related to environmental, social and cultural resource protection and conservation, incorporated in the World Bank’s policies.
The potential major negative impacts of the road include: soil erosion, tree cutting and minor clearing due to road widening and detour construction, occupation of crop fields and animal grazing grounds and minor flooding. There are ways to reduce these impacts but the study says it will cost 26.7 million birr.
Some households and farmlands will be taken for the project but a separate resettlement action plan has been finalized and about 20 million birr has been allocated to rehabilitate and restore people from affected communities.
The road starts in North eastern Ethiopia at Debre Birhan town 120Km northeast of Addis Ababa and stops in Gorobella in Ankober Woreda of Amhara regional state.
The World Bank is one of the major financial sources for various developmental projects in the country. The federal road projects are one of the projects that WB has supported in the past 15 years. Recently ERA has taken a large share of the federal budget, and in the next fiscal year it hopes to receive 19 billion birr.