Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is giving four million Birr in technical support for road maintenance capacity building of the Addis Abeba City Roads Authority (AACRA).
The two sides signed an agreement in April, 2015, for the project initiated by the AACRA, following which three Japanese companies recruited by the JICA presented a work plan for the project to the Authority this month. The support includes improvement of AACRA’s road maintenance management system and the supply of a Road Condition Survey Vehicle.
The vehicle is used for surveying roads and identifying and prioritising roads that need to be maintained, says Hiroshi Honda, managing director at Katahirr & Engineers International, one of the three companies involved in the project. The other two involved are PADECO Co. Ltd. and PASCO Corporation.
The project will also train AACRA staff members both in Addis Abeba as well as in Japan. The training in Japan is conducted twice a year for three years; it is practical training in road maintenance, while the annual training in Addis Abeba, will focus on theoretical knowledge. The project is scheduled to be finalised after three years.
Maintaining roads in AACRA does not match with the increasing road network and is carried out casually, said Honda.
A proper plan and design method that considers the service years of roads as the number of vehicles increases should be introduced to the management of AACRA, he added.
Established in 2003, JICA is a governmental agency which coordinates Japanese development assistance in around 150 countries with financial resources of 8.5 billion dollars.
AACRA has spent 83 million Br for road maintenance in 2014/15, 43 million Br of which was the annual contribution from the government’s Road Fund. AACRA was unable to get the 150 million Br it needed for all maintenance works that it had to undertake during the year, says Zerihun Yefru (Eng.), process head of AACRA’s Road Own-Force Construction & Maintenance. Thus a condition that enables AACRA to get support from other partners was necessary.
AACRA maintains around 30Km of roads per year. In the next fiscal year, it plans to maintain around 35Km of roads.
The new project will reduce the costs of maintenance by enabling the road once maintained to serve for a minimum of 15 years and laying a definitive action plan for the administration of road maintenance, said Zerihun.