In a bid to establish a land information system in urban areas, the government has initiated the installation of road signage and housing plates in six towns of the country with an estimated cost of a quarter of a billion Birr.
Dire Dawa, Harer, Meqelle, Adama, Bahir Dar and Hawassa are the cities where the new direction system will be deployed. The project will be implemented in line with the cities’ master plans.
The Federal Integrated Urban Land Information Project Office selected the towns considering the size of their economy and political importance, according to Yared Teshome, director of Land Information Organising & Updating of the Project Office.
The signages will locate any house and village upon the deployment of the new system. It will be implemented by the Project Office in cooperation with the Ministry of Urban Development & Housing, Federal Urban Land & Land Related Property Agency and regional land management offices.
“Placement of road signs and housing plates will play a pivotal role in transportation and communication,” Yared said.
This project is part of the government’s plan to erect road signs and housing plates in 23 urban areas by 2020 with a cost of one billion Birr. Nonetheless, this project is expected to take at least five years as there are no legal frameworks or standards in the country.
“We plan to complete standards and legal framework in this fiscal year, and to start assessment and deployment next year,” Yared commented. “The experiences of Korea and Dubai will be taken into account while setting the frameworks.”
The road signs and housing plates will be set based on the road structure of the towns.
A multi-reference system, which uses latitude and longitudinal points to refer a single location, will be used by the Project Office to apply the new direction system in the towns. A similar project was implemented in Addis Abeba.
Two years ago, the Addis Abeba City Roads Authority (AACRA) contracted three companies to deploy 270 road signs at the cost of 132 million Br. The City has also implemented road signs along the ring road.
The project will be fully financed by the federal government, while the regional land management bureaus are expected to expedite the development of the road signs and housing plates.
“It will have a grand impact in modernising and amplifying the cities’ direction system,” Yared.
Fasil Ghiorgis, an architect and urban planner with almost three decades of experience, agrees with Yared.
“The use of the system is unquestionable. But, it should be easy the to understand for the people in like signs we are seeing in the capital,” Fasil said. “Simplicity should be given importance during the implementation of the system.”
Taking simplicity into account, the Project Office has a plan to make assessments before naming streets.
“We will first study the characteristics and historical background of each area,” said Yared. [Addis Fortune]