Africa-Press – Lesotho. The Minister of Public Works and Transport, Mr. Matjato Moteane says the government has pledged to support the National Transport Master Plan (NTMP) initiative as it aligns with the transformative and reformist approach that the government adopted to chart a developmental path of the country.

He said this when officially opening the workshop on the Development of the National Transport Master Plan. Mr. Mateane appreciated the journey, saying this milestone under review today has not been without challenges to the consulting team, other stakeholders, and the Ministry.

He said this journey was carried through the adversity of the COVID-19 pandemic which forced innovative ways to ensure progress towards the attainment of this output document that shall be referred to as the National Transport Master Plan.

He stressed that Lesotho is faced with many challenges in the transport system but expressed hope that the government has now done the groundwork to offset those and revitalize this sector and align it to support efforts geared towards economic growth especially for those sectors identified in the National Strategic Development Plan II as key drivers of the Lesotho Economy.

He said the government is the first stakeholder that must adopt this critical framework and provide the legal basis for it, hence pledged that the master plan will be tabled before the Cabinet for adoption, support and guidance in respect of the legislative reviews necessary for smooth implementation. Mr. Moteane, therefore, thanked everyone who made this process a success.

Giving an analysis of the data collection and demand in the country based on the study that was conducted, a Consultant, Dr Johann Andersen said some of the identified issues include the Northern route along the lowlands carrying significant potential to act as the development corridor and that new roads especially in the rural areas are driven by the need for connectivity and access.

He said the recommendations made based on the findings of the study include a need for a detailed travel demand model, especially for the Maseru district and the integrated land use planning which is reported to be affecting the planning for transport requirements. Dr Andersen added that the findings also revealed a need for planned road additions and ungraded in the Rehab and Development Plan 2015-2020.

The objectives of project development are to improve services to social services and markets in the rural areas of Lesotho, strengthen road safety management capacity as well as enhancing recipients’ capacity to respond promptly and efficiently to the eligible crisis.

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