Tamale, the capital of the Northern Region, is set to benefit from massive 100-kilometer road rehabilitation and upgrading project.Other areas to benefit from the project include Nalerigu, Walewale, and Gambaga in the North East Region and Damango in the Savanah Region.

The project will involve resurfacing of streets, maintaining the width of the streets using 6cm layer asphalt, repair of potholes and construction of new road signalization.The scope of the work comprises the construction of asphaltic overlay and repairing pavements of 40km of roads in Tamale, 10km in Walewale, 15km in Nalerigu, 10km in Gambaga, 15km in Damango and 10km in Yendi.

Parliament on Friday approved an EKN-backed loan facility totaling €54.898 million between government and Standard Chartered Bank, London to finance the project.The project, after completion, is expected to reduce vehicle operating costs to the transport sector, reduce congestion and traveling time within the Northern Region, generate employment opportunities including artisans, drivers, equipment operators, and mechanics among others and also improve the well-being of the people in the project areas.

The report of the Finance Committee covering the loan facility agreement was presented to the House by the Chairman, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah.He indicated that the selected roads have deteriorated considerably while the pavements along the roads have also broken down.

“There is, therefore, the need for immediate intervention to save the roads and pavements from complete deterioration.”

“It is in response to this that the government is undertaking this project to repair and maintain the roads in these selected towns,” he said.

In a related development, Parliament also approved a loan facility agreement totaling €138.4 million for the construction of the Bolgatanga-Bawku-Polimakom road (phase 1).The project was originally awarded in June 2016 at the cost of GH¢610.00 million and was to be funded from the road fund.

However, due to financial difficulties, the Road Fund was unable to raise the needed funds to make the necessary payments thereby stalling the project.The HSBC Bank and the KfW IPEC-Bank GmbH have, however, agreed to provide needed funds for the project.The government recognizes the importance of roads since it is the predominant mode of transport throughout the country with an estimated market share of over 95% and 90% of the passenger and cargo traffic respectively. 

A major challenge facing road transportation is the inconsistency in the road surface of the road network with unpaved and contiguous sections paved but in poor condition, making its use unreliable and expensive in terms of vehicle operating cost.Over the decade, the government has been implementing road improvement programs as part of transport policy with programmes involving periodic and medium-term maintenance as well as rehabilitation and reconstruction of trunk, urban and rural road infrastructure. 

The Northern Region has an estimated urban population of 2.480 million (2010) with its capital Tamale inhabited by about one million people. The streets of Tamale, Walewale, Nalerigu, Gambaga, Damango, and Yendi, due to high traffic flow, have degraded over time with pavements deteriorated leading to potholes in various areas.

The project, therefore, seeks to resurface some streets granting proper functioning of the city road network. The fast and reliable movement of materials, equipment, and persons is expected to reduce transportation costs, increase competitiveness which will stimulate the economy.