Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Mokaila confirms World Bank loan for better Gabz roads

Government has confirmed a $385.2-million from World Bank funding for roads infrastructure projects in Gaborone.

In his response in Parliament, Minister of Transport and Communications Kitso Mokaila said part of the loan was $106 million, while government was partly paying for signaling systems.

Member of Parliament for Gaborone North Haskins Nkaigwa had asked the Minister of Transport and Communications to state the intended purpose of the World Bank funding for roads infrastructural projects in Gaborone (Gaborone Integrated Transport Model) and also to state progress made so far.

He further inquired how much funding was received and how it has been utilised and when funding was received and the status of projects.

In his response, Mokaila stated that purpose has been to implement roads infrastructural projects in Gaborone and Gaborone integrated transport model, to improve intersection as well as traffic lights. He added that tender for the three intersections had been flighted, and are for the Game City, Rainbow and Btv area.

“We will have interchanges in Gaborone. I clearly explained that when we got the loan, there was intention to build a Project Management Unit within the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and that has not happened as we speak,” said Mokaila.

Mohamed Khan asked Mokaila whether the through road in Molepolole is also part of the World Bank loan, and whether that was on track for development this year as planned.

Mokaila stated that Molepolole road is not part of the World Bank loan because the loan was looking at improvement of traffic in Gaborone. He added that in terms of National Development Plan (NDP) 11, Molepolole road is included.

“As we have discussed, and as I will hold a Kgotla meeting to explain, we are not doing that one but we are doing a bypass and other things in Molepolole,” said Mokaila.

Meanwhile, Mokaila stated that in 2016, a total of 1 680 road accidents were recorded, adding that there were 69 crashes which resulted in 115 deaths. He said from January 2017 to date a total of 627 roads accidents were recorded. Mokaila said there were 14 fatal crashes which resulted in 25 deaths along the A1 highway.

“Remedial actions which we have taken and are being implemented along the A1 highway include road side safety and educational campaigns in various places and also intensified enforcement campaigns on the highway. We have improvement of road furniture such as markings and road signs,” he said.

He revealed that the National Road Safety Committee (NRSC) is presently looking at ways of intervening though multi-stakeholder support based on the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and the African Action Plan on Road Safety 2011-2020.

He added that it is an ongoing effort, which is expected to yield good outcomes regarding driver-behaviour. He said it would, however, also cover aspects of improved road engineering and maintenance to ensure that they are safer.

“I am not considering setting up any commission of inquiry on the A1 highway, due to the fact that we already know what the causes of accidents are, which are over speeding, reckless driving; and drunken driving,” said Mokaila.

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