THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD Newspaper 24 April 2016: The Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA) has disclosed that the Universal Rural Roads Access Program (URRAP) has hit 76 per cent during the first Growth and Transformation Plan period.
The performance was made public Friday at a consultative meeting between ERA and state stakeholders to evaluate the implementation and the next direction of URRAP in the country.
In an exclusive interview with ENA at the event, ERA Director General Araya Girmay said URRAP assisted extensively in creating better road networks among rural kebeles across the nation.
Besides cutting short long distances and other benefits to the rural community, the program created better market opportunity and helped build capacity at district level in handling such road projects, the Director General said.
According to Araya, States of Tigray and Oromia have best URRAP performers in GTP-I with Amhara and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples States performing at medium level.
Araya mentioned a range of technical and other supports from the authority to facilitate the implementation of the program. URRAP has so far created jobs for 275 consultant, 945 contractors and 1.4 million individuals during GTP-I, he said.
The Director General listed limitations in budget, capacity and rent-seeking identified in GTP- I as holding back factors to implement URRAP.In the just started GTP-II period, the authority envisages building 90,000 kilometers of roads which will consume 45 billion Birr and create jobs for 2.7 million citizens.
Some 30 million people were involved in URRAP’s GTP-I period which will be scaled up to more than 50 million during GTP-II period. Through the URRAP program in GTP-I period, 11,876 rural kebeles from the planned 15,602 were connected. The figure stood at only 6,222 prior to the implementation of URRAP across the nation.