The 284-kilometre tarmac road connecting Erigavo, Sanaag to Magaaalo-yar (a.k.a. Ina Afmadoobe), Togdheer region, received over 280 culvert units, Friday.
The South African manufactured steel-reinforced pipe- and pipe-arch culvert units, according to the General-manager of the Somaliland Road Authority, Ahmed Yussuf, would adequately cover 53 pre-surveyed areas along the length of the road.
Without the construction of the culverts, torrential rains rendered long stretches of the road impassable. Floods also washed away other stretches necessitating frequent, costly rebuilds.
According to Minister Abdullahi Abokor of Transport, the current government took over 94 paved kilometres of the road on end of 2017 when President Bihi Musa Abdi assumed the presidency.
“We added 101 more kilometres,” he stated at a press conference he held at his office late 2019.
Minister Abokor added that the delivery of the culvert units arrived at more than US$900K cost to the state.
It took most travellers and bigger transporters more than 24 hours to travel between the two cities of Burao and Erigavo – only 308 kilometres apart. Smaller 4-wheel vehicles, driving at top gear, managed to shorten it to between 12 and 14 hours at best during dry seasons. Not completed yet, the condition of the road allows buses and smaller sedan and mini-vans to ply between the two cities cutting time to less than 10 hours at most.
Construction of the Siilaanyo road, named after the President who started it, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud ‘Siilaanyo’, was officially begun on late 2013 – a venture which many believed was an impossible feat to achieve in the absence of external assistance and expertise.