Barawe Airport construction cost concerns must be addressed – UM

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Dusty landing in newly built Barawe airport. Photo courtesy: via Twitter

Mogadishu (UM) – The Barawe airport in South West state was opened this week by the Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire in a big ceremony in which the EU Ambassador to Somalia Nicolas Berlanga gave a speech in Somali. The airport is needed in Barawe town for sure to connect it to the rest of the country but how much did cost?

Barawe is the capital of South West State of Somalia. The Somali people are shocked and discussing the over $4 million cost of building the Barawe airport which looks like it has a dirt runway. The airport terminal is small and many professional engineers have said that it is over budget for its design. Many Somali commentators are saying that the EU has been robbed in daylight but to get to the bottom of this they need to carry out an independent audit.

The EU ambassador Nicolas Berlanga said that the cost of $4.3 is correct in a Twitter exchange with concerned Somalis. Maybe the airport building project did cost $4.3 million. Maybe it did not. The only way to convince the public is to have an independent inspection and audit of the project. EU taxpayers and the Somali beneficiaries must be satisfied that they both got value for money.

The Federal Government of Somalia must make sure that the assistance it provides is used wisely and the EU must be strict in its procurement process. Maybe this is already the case but transparency is needed in the building of the Barawe airport because the public do not think it’s value for money. Better public information and an Independent external inspection and audit is the only way to end the public speculation online which will hurt the Federal government, South West State and the EU.