The government of Botswana has secured US $27.1m grant from the Chinese government for upgrading of roads across the country. Ministry of Transport and Communications announced the report and said three roads have already been identified to benefit from the grant.
Ms Dorcas Makgato, Transport Minister mentioned the roads which inlcude; Motlopi/Makalamabedi road, Radisele/Pilikwe road and one in the Barolong area. She added that feasibility studies and other required processes had already been completed for the 28km long Motlopi/Makalamabedi road.
Road upgrade project
According to the grant agreement, construction works will done by Chinese companies. However the appointment of the contractor would be agreed upon by the two governments. The Letlhakane Roads Depot is responsible for a total road network of 769.50km, comprising 476.70km surfaced roads and 292.80km gravel roads. Ms Makgato explained that the Department of Roads was carrying out periodic and routine maintenance within Boteti east and west constituencies.
The Motlopi/Makalamabedi road had long been requested by area residents to be upgraded but was delayed due to financial constraints. There will also be the re-graveling of the 14km Rakops-Xere road. Ms Makgato noted that the project was being done in two phases, with the first phase having commenced in the 2017/18 financial year.
The third road project entails the 19km dry grading and 5.7km of re-graveling of Toromoja-Rakops. The Transport Minister said that the tender for the projects would be awarded soon.
Driving in Botswana is challenging. Due to globalization, traffic congestion has become a major source of frustration for road users in Botswana and is likely to worsen over time as towns become busier. While the roads in major population centers are generally good, rural roads can are in poor condition and treacherous.