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Asmara Ring Road Project: a Solution for City Traffic Congestion

Easing traffic burden in major cities is critical for safety and economic efficiency.

The economic cost of traffic congestion in cities is significant. One way to address traffic congestion is to keep traffic away from the centre by providing a bypass such as a ring road.

A ring road surrounds an urban area and provides an alternative route for traffic. It reduces the traffic in urban areas, where the existing roads are unable to meet the demand of increasing traffic and population).

Asmara has been experiencing an increase in the flow of traffic in recent years. With the prospective development in the region and a booming mining sector in the country, the flow of traffic is expected to rise. As part of the ongoing efforts to ease congestion on the roads inside Asmara, a ring road has been under construction.

In a briefing on the general purpose and progress of the Ring Road Project, coordinator of the Project Col. Berhane Elias said that the aim of the project, which started in 2016, is to enable heavy trucks bypass the four main gates of Asmara, thereby reducing the high traffic in the main roads in the city. All the heavy trucks that used to pass through Asmara will circumnavigate Asmara through the new road links. The newly built road extends from Biet Gergish, on the Asmara-Massawa road, through Adi Nifas, to Asmara- Keren road. In the first phase of the project, the road, covering the 400 meters Biet Gergish- BeleZa- Adi Nfas road, has been covered with asphalt and starting from the end of summer the work will continue. The road is expected to be fully operational next year.

The project is being implemented by concerted efforts of Project-II of Adi-Halo, the Ministry of Defence and members of the People’s Army from Zoba Maekel and other partners. Col. Berhane said when the ground work is completed, Asbeco Construction Company will cover the road with asphalt.

Col. Berhane said the project was initiated by Adi-Halo as part of its aims to train students by working in the project. Eritrea’s best asset is its human resource, and one of the government of Eritrea’s main aims is to develop a skilled human power that can be deployed to development projects throughout the nation. Based on this principle, in addition to the vocational training centers established in Sawa and other places, a vocational training center was opened in Adi-Halo in 2016.

The campus began its operations by enrolling youth from the 27th round of the national service that scored matriculation points for certificate program. The Adi- Halo training center was initially formed in Afhimbol as a pilot project by trainers who came from local companies such as Seghen and Ghedem construction companies. It was later relocated to Adi-Halo.

The government of Eritrea believes that there should not be any waste of human resource, especially that of the youth. As we can see in other parts of the world those who are not educated become a liability to their society and the government. Therefore, to avoid this and make them productive, the government has opened vocational training centers, where thousands of students are trained every year and join the work force of Eritrea.

The Adi-Halo training center has so far graduated two batches, and the Asmara ring road project is mainly staffed by graduates of training center.

The trainees from the center are given lessons for some time in the vocational training center after which they are assigned to a work place for their initial practical training and in the process they get certified.

Col. Berhane said, “These students have now become very productive. They have been assigned to different departments, including machinery and iron fusing. The water tanks that are erected in different parts of Asmara were all made by the students who graduated from the Adi-Halo training center. The implementation of the ring-road project started with the help of the students and their input has been crucial.”

“These students are developing their overall skills while applying what they have learnt. To this end all the necessary fund was made to enable the students acquire sufficient knowledge in their respective fields.”
When completed the ring-road project will cover 20 km and is expected to expedite traffic flow in and around Asmara.

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