PM Inaugurates New Road, Launches Two other Projects in W Ethiopia

ADDIS ABEBA – Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed inaugurated on Sunday a new 60.2km Shambu-Bako asphalt road built at cost of 993mln Birr and attended the launch of two other intra regions road construction projects in Western Ethiopia.

Demeke Mekonnen, and administrator of Oromia region, Shimelis Abdissa, joined Abiy at the inaugural ceremony of Shambu-Bako road and the launch of Shambu-Hagemsa construction project in Hareto Town.

The 95km Shambe Hagemsa Asphalt road is expected to link western part of Oromia and Amhara regional states when its construction is completed within three and half years.

Luqiao Group Co. Ltd, a Chinese construction firm, has been awarded the construction project with a total of 2 billion birr budget secured from OPEC and BADEA as well as government’s coffers, according to Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA).

Linking with S Sudan

Earlier that day, the senior government officials also launched the Dembi Dolo-Mugi-Dola road construction project which will link Oromia with neighboring Gambella region.

“Our stabilization efforts have been successful. Today, I’m quite pleased to have been among the peace loving people of Dembidolo in Qellem Wellega,” the Prime Minister said after laying cornerstones for the projects.

The road will have a significant impact on the socio-economic ties of not only the residents in the two regions but also between Ethiopia and South Sudan, said Habtamu Tegegn (Eng.), Director-general of Ethiopian Roads Authority.

When finished, it will give additional options for travellers from Addis Ababa and Gambella with reduced driving time. The road will cut the traveling distance by 100km from the currently active Addis Ababa-Jimma-Metu route.
The government will cover the total cost of the construction, said ERA which budgeted 1.6 billion birr for the project.

China Railway Seventh Group (CRSG) has been awarded to build the asphalt road within three and half years period, according to the Authority. It will have 20 meter and 15.6 width at Zone and Kebele levels, respectively.

Prime Minister Abiy said the ongoing development projects being built in the area aim to connect Wollega zone with other parts of Ethiopia and neighboring countries, securing mobility and market access to the residents, particularly farmers.