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Garowe, 7 Nov 12
The Local Government of Garowe, with technical assistance from UN-Habitat Somalia, has completed the implementation of the first phase of the collaborative project Development of a Road Network Development Plan and Road Demarcation for Garowe.

The pilot project to develop the first official road network development plan for the fast-growing capital of Puntland began early this year. This plan will form the legal basis for road network extensions and serve as the primary tool for urban management and road infrastructure investment prioritization up to 2035. Throughout the pilot project, UN-Habitat provided expert planning assistance and capacity building to the Municipal Planning Department, financed the road network extension feasibility studies, and supported the opening and demarcation of selected main roads.

During Phase I of the Road Network Development Plan, over 7 km of new main road extensions were opened and demarcated to secure the future routes from encroachment by informal building construction. In addition, the now completed new connection between the bypass road and the national tarmac road will make the southern part of town more accessible, allow traffic to be diverted from the congested main road, and generally ease transportation pressures.

Designed as a multi-phase project, the successful and low-cost pilot implementation of new main road openings will be complemented by road classification surveys of the existing road network and the formulation of technical standards for urban roads for the whole of Puntland in a follow-up project starting by the end of this year.

Project background: Due to its relative political stability and autonomy from south central Somalia, the State of Puntland has attracted many commercial activities and economic immigrants. Today, the urban part of Garowe has an estimated population of 40,000, a number that is likely to double in the next 10 to 15 years. The town has already shown a remarkable growth rate of 135 percent in only 5 years, which makes it one of the fastest-growing urban centres in Puntland. Despite this, Garowe still has only one main tarmac road. The remaining road network consists of dirt and gravel roads, with no planning regulations in place.

Planning ahead before construction starts on the town’s vacant land is important for the sustainable urban and economic development of Garowe. The road network plan for the extension of the urban road system will be a basic tool to guide the development of the town in the desired direction. As land use planning is hampered by the current lack of building control, the most practical means to manage urban growth at this stage is through the physical reservation of road space, which is done by clearly defining the routes that will in future serve as the main access roads to new built-up areas.

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