With potholes almost on every road in the country and a lot of money spent by government paying contractors who fix them, traditional methods of fixing them are likely to be thrown out the window by a new technology imported by Pro-Phalt Botswana.
Directors of Pro-Phalt Botswana, a Botswana-based pothole patching company, said this past week that their company has introduced an infra-red technology system, the first of its kind to be introduced in Botswana to help curb potholes.
“There are a few traditional methods that have been tried and tested and even stood the test of time, but our technology has faster repair time, significant cost saving up to 5 percent, and is a permanent pothole repair solution than traditional methods of concrete application,” said one of the directors, Kagiso Kwelagobe.
Potholes are partly blamed for sky-rocketing road accidents and damage caused to motor vehicles on the poorly maintained Botswana roads whose worth is estimated to be close to P25 billion.
Frank Ramsden, a former minister of roads previously said that the government spent more than P70 million on routine maintenance using Labour Based Methods.
Rhetorically labelled ‘dam potholes’ because of their amazing capacity to carry running water, especially during rainy seasons, potholes are a source of concern to the current government and through their high technological project, Pro-Phalt believe they could be a remedy to the backlog of cases bedevilling the country.
The wholly citizen owned company has adopted the technology which was initially developed in the United Kingdom in 2006 to help curb the potholes that are widespread in roads found in the country.
Pro-Phalt Botswana endeavours to pioneer the transformation of road and pothole repair method in Botswana by introducing a highly effective, time efficient and competent roads and maintenance solution. The company is said to have imported equipment costing P2.2 million.
Botswana is a land-locked country and largely depends on its road infrastructure; as it is integral to its regional and international competitiveness.
A Condition Survey carried out in 2009 revealed that Botswana’s Public Highway Network has deteriorated since 2002, in the quality of the road and substantial reductions in road asset value.
The survey report has recommended that to prevent further deterioration there is need for an effective maintenance strategy intervention to protect the PHN worth more than P24 billion.
Government has taken a conscious decision to shift focus from construction of new roads, to rather maintaining the existing infrastructure. The production of the Botswana Road Maintenance Manual in 2011 was a joint effort between Roads Department and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration.