Somaliland: Bold Suggestion from Unlikely Source. ( By… Adan H Iman )

Waxa Daabacay on Nov 30th, 2017 and filed under Daily Somali News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

As a critic of then presidential candidate Ahmed Mohamed Mahmoud (Silanyo) during the run up to the 2010 presidential election, I took note when few months after assuming the Presidency in July 2010, President Silanyo told the nation that he would pave the 20-mile Dila- Borama road in Awdal Region of Somaliland.

The Hargeisa- Borama road, which is 78 miles long, was paved by the Chinese except for the Dila-Borama portion. This unpaved segment was a festering wound in the body and psyche of the residents of Awdal region. The rutted, bumpy portion, though only about 20 miles long, was dreaded by the travelers as it took a toll on them and their vehicles: the time was unnecessarily longer due to the time it took negotiating with the pot holes; cost was more since more gas burned due to the longer time; and the tear and wear on the vehicles was greater than if the road was paved.

President Silanyo fulfilled his promise and paved the road. The impressive thing was it was not built by a foreign power but with local resources and talent. Its impact on the lives of the people was dramatic. The travel time between Borama and Hargeisa was shortened. People and goods move faster. A doctor who lives with his family in Borama, for example, can commute to Hargeisa, see his patients the whole day and still come back in the evening to his family in Borama. People travel in air conditioned buses with Wi-Fi between the two cities. Additionally, those who can afford bought smaller cars or sedans. For the first time, the streets of Borama are congested with all kinds of vehicles!

The successful paving of the Dila-Borama road ushered a new era in infrastructure improvement in Somaliland. It inspired road constructions elsewhere in the country, the most ambitious being the 400-mile Erigavo-Burao road. There are commitments to build the 190-mile Borama-Loyada road. I watched the images of the ribbon cutting ceremony for the just constructed Presidential Residence in Borama. Vice-President Abdirahman Saylici was there for the ceremony. We were shown the two-floor residence, fully furnished, with marble floors and stairway, and a huge parking lot. The construction of the residence is part of the boon in the construction of government buildings under President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo. The capital improvement projects carried out by this president, with local resources and skills, is something we have never experienced before!

Outgoing President Ahmed Silanyo left a legacy of tangible achievements. He further strengthened Somaliland democracy by instituting biometric voter registration, which ensured one person one vote. As a result the just concluded presidential election garnered very positive international attention for Somaliland. By any standard, Somaliland is a truly democratic country. He grew the national budget from less than $100 million, when he came to power in 2010, to $363 million during the current 2017 Fiscal Years. He paved roads across the country and built government buildings. These achievements are worthy of recognition.

If the Dila-Borama road were not paved by President Silanyo, it would have remained unpaved to this day as it had been for all the preceding years. If it were not paved, we would be whining and complaining and suffering, not ridding in air-conditioned buses with WiFi, as we drive through that stretch of the roadway. We must, as residents of Awdal, honor the man who made the construction of this road the first priority of his presidency and name the Dila-Borama Road, the Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (Silanyo) Road. Needless to add that if a leader from Awdal improves the lives of people in another region, the residents of that region ought to be indebted and extend a similar honor to him/her.

Los Angeles

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