BY MESEERET BEHAILU
ADDIS ABABA – The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) yesterday signed a contract to build eight road projects covering 738.19 Kms in various parts of the country for the coming one up to four years with an outlay of over 18.2 Billion Birr.
Briefing Journalists, Eng. Habtamu Tegegne, Authority General Director said that the country has been challenged by lack of road infrastructure for a century and the community in some parts of the nation is still heard of complaining about it.
Inversely, the allocated budget for road projects has not been properly utilized for successfully hitting the set target over the past many years.
Of the eight road projects, the FDRE government will cover the cost of seven projects, while that of the remaining one will be covered by JICA, AfDB, and WB in addition to the budget from the government.
It was learnt that the Jimma –Chida road project is the only project whose expense will be fully covered by the budget secured from others, not by the federal government.
Representing Jima zone of Dido district in Oromia state MPs Shebrie Sherif told The Ethiopian Herald that the place is one of the coffee producing areas, but the community is still seriously challenged by lack of road access.
Due to this reason, farmers do not adequately benefit out of coffee products due to lack of market access following the absence of road infrastructure. However, the new road project will play an indispensable role in alleviating communities’ road problem.
Particularly, the road has enabled to join two regions: Oromia and South Nations, Nationalities and Peoples state and used for fostering market access and strengthening social interaction.
The Authority signed 21 road projects in aggregate including eight projects which are signed yesterday and has allocated a total of spend over 43.3 billion Birr within the fiscal year, and the whole project has covered more than 1774 kilometers.
On the other hand, out of the 21 road projects which signed by the Authority, 14 projects are shared by local contractors and 20 projects expense of construction is covered by FDRE government.
The Ethiopian Herald February 4/2021