Official Launch of Lafaruk – Berbera – Sheikh Road Rehabilitation Project
26 November 2014 - The Government of Somaliland has today officially launched the Larafuk – Berbera – Sheikh road rehabilitation project which is funded by the Somaliland Development Fund (SDF). The launching of the project was officiated by the H.E The President of the Republic of Somaliland Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud "Silanyo" at Xamaas Town, along the Hargeisa – Berbera – Sheikh road.
Hargeisa-Berbera and Berbera-Sheikh roads were constructed in the early seventies between February 1972 and May 1975 are strategic roads which connect the Sea Port city of Berbera to Hargeisa and to the Ethiopian border. While underscoring the importance of the road to Somaliland, Dr. Saad Ali Shire, the Minister for National Planning and Development said, "The Berbera - Hargeisa Road is the busiest road that connects the port to the Capital, and to Ethiopia as well. It is in very poor shape. Somaliland sends its appreciation to the people of Denmark, United Kingdom and Norway for this project which will be resealing this important road. This will improve safety and flow of traffic, and will contribute to the economic growth of the country."
The project which was launched today is implemented by the Roads Development Authority (RDA) and has been allocated about 7 Million by the SDF. This amount will be spent in improving the road infrastructure in the country and enhance the capacity of the RDA in maintaining the existing roads. The key activities under the project include the following:
• Full rehabilitation of Xamaas- Berbera road section (35km) that comprises shoulder, edge breaks repairs, pothole patching and providing 40mm asphalt overlay;
• Rehabilitate Hudiso bridge located along Berbera-Sheikh road section;
• Carryout carriageway edge repairs and pothole patching on the entire Berbera-Sheikh road;
• Provide 40mm asphalt overlay over 20km of selected sections on Berbera-Sheikh road;
• Procurement of survey and laboratory equipment;
• Procurement of road maintenance equipment including a tipper truck; and
• Technical training of the RDA staff in road maintenance.
Recently, the SDF Secretariat and Roads Development Authority recently awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of Xamaas – Berbera – Sheikh including the Hudiso Bridge (the first four components) at a cost of USD 5.8 Million to M/S Amal Joint Venture Civil Engineering Contractors Company of Hargeisa, Somaliland. The road rehabilitation works are expected to commence immediately after the launch and is expected to be completed within the next 11 months. Once completed, the proposed project is expected to lead to reduction of travel times, vehicle operating costs and motor vehicle accidents, ultimately spurring of economic growth/activities in the areas traversed by the roads project.
Dr Phil Evans, Head of DFID Somalia said: "We are delighted that the first project funded through the SDF is coming to fruition and demonstrating the benefits of a new approach under the New Deal; with the National Planning Commission setting the priorities and Donors really working together aligned to Government plans. We look forward to seeing the economic benefits this project will undoubtedly bring".
Similar sentiments were shared by the Danish Ambassador, Mr. Geert A. Andersen who said "I am pleased to see one of the projects supported by the SDF being launched after much hard work by the Government, especially the Roads Development Agency, the Ministry of National Planning and Development and the Ministry of Finance. This project is aligned with the Somaliland Special Arrangement, and has been developed by the Government of Somaliland. The Ambassador further added: "There is general consensus that investments in infrastructure has significant importance for employment and economic growth improving the wellbeing of the people in Somaliland".
The Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) is a 4 - year fund designed to support the Government of Somaliland (GoSL) in filling critical gaps that are fully aligned to the National Development Plan (NDP). The SDF is currently funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the Governments of Norway and The Netherlands. The current contribution by the four donor countries currently stands at USD 60 Million. In addition to the above project, the SDF has also allocated USD 2.7 M for full rehabilitation of the Kalabaydh – Dila Road.