Half of Benguela Railway cleared of landmines

20 December 2005

Lobito, Angola, 20 Dec – About 700 kilometers of track on the Benguela Railway (CFB), from the port city of Lobito in Benguela province to Kuito in the central highlands province of Bie, have now been demined by specialist teams, the company’s director has said.

Daniel Quipaxi, CFB’s director-general, said Monday that the railway is now ready for rehabilitation work to begin on the Lobito-Bie section. Mine clearing on the section of track between Kuito and Luau in the central province of Moxico is due to finish in the second half of 2006.

It is estimated that rehabilitation and modernization of the CFB will cost about US$ 300 million and the project is being funded by Chinese credit.

Building of the 1,300 km-long CFB, the only rail link between the Atlantic and central Africa, began in 1903 and took 26 years to complete. (macauhub)