- The Beninese government is to improve its Djougou-Ndali road, connecting the central-northern part of the country with Nigeria and Togo. Also Benin's two north-south connections, leading from Cotonou to Burkina Faso and Niger, are currently being upgraded.
The African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigerian Trust Fund (NTF) today announced they had approved two loans amounting to US$ 21.17 million finance the Djougou-Ndali road improvement project in Benin.
The project falls under the transport sector programme (TSP) adopted for the 1997-2006 period by the government of Benin with the agreement of donors. It is geared towards ensuring an adequate standard of service provided by the transport system, opening up productive areas and strengthening regional integration.
The Djougou-N'dali road forms part of the inter-state national roads that link Togo, Benin and Nigeria. The road starts at Kara in northern Togo, crosses into Benin at Ouake, passing through the Beninese towns of Djougou, Ndali and Nikki, before entering Nigeria at Chicandou.
With the improvement and asphalting of the two major North-South roads - from Cotonou through Djougou into Burkina Faso and from Cotonou through Ndali to the Nigerien border - the upgrading of feeder roads linking these two has become one of the major objectives for opening up the sub-region and its integration.
According to ADF, the project aims to improve the standard of services on the Djougou-Ndali transversal highway and to improve the access by villages and mobility of rural communities in the project area of influence (PAI) through the improvement and maintenance of earth roads.
Further, the project was said to reduce distances covered and time taken by the communities to fetch potable water, and build the capacity of the communities to participate in the new rural road maintenance strategy, understand problems related to AIDS, the environment, road safety and malaria.
The project was to have the several components for both the main road and the rural feeder roads. This included the improvement and surfacing of 125 km and 7 m-wide of modern earth road and the conducting of awareness campaigns on environmental protection, road safety, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS and malaria.
Further, the project included the drawing up of route plans on 250 km of earth roads and preparation of tender documents for the works and the maintenance and improvement of 250 km of feeder roads and the works inspection and supervision.
Other associated works involved, according to ADF, are the sinking of 40 equipped boreholes based on a participatory strategy and the refitting of site buildings to be transferred to communities.
A population of nearly 520,000 inhabitants, that is 8.60 percent of Benin's entire population was said to benefit from the project. The project area covers a 20,000 km2 of land, which corresponds to 35 percent of the country's area.
The total cost of the project is set at US$ 32.42 million. It will be jointly financed by the ADF and NTF loans, the West African Development Bank (BOAD), the beneficiaries and the government. Furthermore, the Beninese government had secured financing for the Djougou-Ouake stretch through the Regional Integration Assistance Fund (FAIR) of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA).
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