The latest six-month report released by the Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) revealed that it spent over nine billion Birr to construct roads in the past six months. This accounts for close to one-fifth of the budget allocated for the current fiscal year. There are 13 new projects that will be launched in 2017.
The original plan was to spend 13 billion Br to construct roads, award new road projects and execute on-going road projects. The completd kilometres of road is four percent higher than the amount spent for the same period last year.
The authority’s report reveals that the government spent over eight billion Birr to execute only just over 495km of projects. It also indicates that around 397 million Br was invested to rehabilitate 14 roads in the country.
After the government issued a policy to prioritize the transportation sector, the country’s road network has increased from 54,000 to 113,000 km with an ambition of attaining a 222,000 km network in the next three years.
Among the 14 road contracts signed in the past six months, the five-kilometer Debremarkos asphalt road was the most expensive, costing 43.2 million Br a kilometer.
However, the cost is 47pc lower than the most expensive road in Ethiopia’s history, Melka Jebdu-Dire Dawa road. The road is an upgrading project and it is expected to help the city in advancing the transportation system. It is expected to be completed in the next 18 months. Driba Defersha signed the contract agreement for the road with ERA a month ago.
“The road requires a lot of money to build sewerage lines and side offs,” said Driba Defersha, the CEO of the company, while explaining the costliness of the project.
Driba, founded in 1998, worked with Ethiopian Roads Authority on the Beltao Tolo sub-project of the Arba Minch-Sawla road.
In addition, the report also indicates the unsatisfactory execution of eight projects. Of these, six of the projects were in Oromia regional state, while the Southern Nations and Nationalities (SNNP) and Gambella regional states have one project each that is not completed as per the planned time.
The authority was also unable to show any progress at 17 of its ongoing projects due to various constraints.
“Majority of the projects were delayed due to implementation problem,” said the Communication Director at Ethiopian Road Authority.
The authority has planned to complete eight road projects in the next six months. It has already floated a tender to construct 11 road projects across the country.