By Adan H Iman
As a critic of then presidential candidate Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (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 pavedby 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 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. Buses were imported to transport travelers 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 Erigave- Burao road, which is now partially completed.
Few weeks ago I watched images of the ribbon cutting ceremony for the just constructed Presidential Residence in Borama. Vice President Abdurrahman Saylici was there for the ceremony. We were shown the two-floor house, fully furnished, with marble floors and stairway and a huge parking lot. This is the first time a government built such a house in Borama. And this is part of the boon in the construction of government buildings under this president.
It is appropriate to honor leaders when they improve the lives of their citizens. Since President Silanyo was responsible for pavingthe Dila-Borama road with local resources and talent, and without foreign assistance, I’m suggesting that this roadway be named after him.This idea came to my mind a while ago, but I decided to wait till his time office is over. He taught us a lot about how much we can achieve by ourselves.
I’m sure the residents of Awdal understand fully what he has done for them. I’m confident they will return that favor by naming the Dila-Borama Road, the Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (Silanyo) Road. He has earned that recognition.