Crucial road to link Dar, Karema ports underway

THE construction of 110.6 kilometres asphalt road linking Karema Port and Dar es Salaam Port is expected to help decongest traffic at Tunduma Border Port bordering neighbouring Zambia.

The road construction is planned to take three years and will also link Kigoma Port through Mpanda-Kigoma Highway.

Additionally, the road will open up further and act as the gateway for the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Southern Burundi to international market through the Dar Port.

Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) Katavi Regional Manager, Engineer Martin Mwakabende told ‘Daily News’ yesterday that the road is an alternative route to reach the DRC and Zambia through Katavi from Dar es Salaam via Tabora, using Karema Port.

“Preliminary preparations for the road construction are going on smoothly,” Mr Mwakabende said, “Many fuel exporters would opt to transport their cargo to DRC through Karema port,” the engineer said.

He noted that the feasibility studies and detailed engineering designed for the construction of the road spanning to Kabungu (Kagwila) to port terminal was completed last June.

“At Kabungu the road links with Mpanda-Kigoma Highway, 10 kilometres from Mpanda town,” Eng Mwakabende said while the tender for the road construction was opened in May.

The construction work is divided into two lots one covering 54.4 kilometres from Kagwila to Kasekese, while the other is 59.26 kilometres connecting Kasekese and Karema Port on Lake Tanganyika

The two main contractors are expected to be on site after three months of tendering, while will take three years, he said.

Karema Port will also be linked with a Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) to be constructed from Mpanda town to serve better Southern Eastern DRC and Burundi.

Ms Salome Bigize, a cassava trader who runs business between Tanzania and DRC, insisted that the muddy road, which has many potholes and is prone to floods at some sections, remains a major obstacle for the envisaged full-swing operation of Karema port.

“There is no question that Karema is the best port on Lake Tanganyika but poor road is the main reason why people are still not utilising it,” she asserted.

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