Berbera Corridor. By Mohamed Abdi.


It was on the 1st of March 2019 that the Berbera corridor was inaugurated in the presence of the Somaliland president and he laid the corner stone.

The project duration was announced as being 26 months ending on May 2021.

Now 14 months into the project duration only 5% is accomplished and that had to raise an alarm because this distance of 12Kms was supposed to have been fished in the first 45 days if thing went according to plan.

This means that 12 and half months of the project time are lost and the project is delayed for one year.

My fear is that the seaport project may get finished before the road and we will have a new bottleneck called Berbera Corridor.

In the backdrop of this unwarranted delay in the project execution a celebratory visit of the head of the state was an undeserved honor and the ribbon cutting ceremony should have been replaced by holding the perpetrators accountable.

We should not be dazzled by the colorful road marking paints whose real motive of executing them at this stage of the project progress is nothing but tempting us into reading the book by its cover.

This project is the only one of its kind in the country for 40 years or more it shouldn’t be taken so lightly. It is just imperative that we make the utmost use out of it. And we should not give the chance for self-centered gullible sycophants to mutually manipulate with the contractors (local or the main contractor) to down grade a project we deskinned our face for.

While we are so grateful for the Emirates the contractors should be kept under a watchful eye.

In project management if the duration was a constraint in awarding the project and thereby it is a constant, the time and resources are to be manipulated and they are inversely proportional.

As a token of recovery for the time lost more resources should be added to the project.

At least 3 working groups each with their sub-base team, Concrete Plant and transit mixers, Asphalt plant and finishing teams need to be set up.

The groups need to be assigned each to 80 kms of the road length and plants at the mid-point of the 80 Kms so the concrete does not travel more than 40 kms to each side.

A full-fledged civil laboratory comprising the following has to be set for the project.

A) Soil Lab to conduct:

1. Moisture content test.

2. Atterberg limits tests.

3. Specific gravity of soil.

4. Dry density of soil.

5. Compaction test (Proctor’s test)

6. Bearing capacity tests.

B) Concrete Lab to conduct:

1 Slump test to ensure ready mix concrete quality

2. Compression strength Test

3.Water permeability Test

4. Rapid Chloride Ion Penetration Test

5. Water absorption Test

6. Initial surface absorption Test

7. Column segregation Test

C) Asphalt Lab to conduct:

1.Ductility test.

2.Flash and Fire point test.

3. Float test.

4. Loss on heating test.

5. Penetration test.

6. Softening point test.

7. Specific gravity test.

8. Viscosity test.

The equipment for all above must be annually calibrated by an accredited body and such accreditation must be traceable through a chain ending at (NIST) National Institute Of Science and Technology or the like.

One of the many opportunities the project provides is that it can serve as field practice for our civil engineering university students.

It is also a chance for the faculty of civil Engineering in Hargeisa University to set up a department of Metrology which will be an asset for the nation and a

learning opportunity for the students .There are many International Universities who can collaborate with Hargeisa University in this regard or even UN bodies like UNESCO.