Dar on verge of major infrastructure facelift

THE Dar es Salaam is on the verge of a major infrastructure facelift as the much-awaited construction of a 600bn/- Jangwani Bridge and development of the Msimbazi valley are scheduled to begin this financial year. 

Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA) Chief Executive Officer, Eng Victor Seif, told reporters in Dodoma yesterday that the World Bank has issued 260 million US dollars (about 606bn/-) loan for the construction of the Jangwani Bridge and Msimbazi valley development programme.

He said the financing agreement between the government and the WB was signed on Friday last week and the project is expected to be effective from December 31st, this year.

 Feasibility studies and architectural designs for the down and up-stream infrastructure of the bridge as well as preparations of the key documents on the environment have been completed, he said.

He said the project is at early stages but promised that construction is set to start before the end of 2022/23 financial year.

 “Procedures to get contractors for the project will start next month and the construction works are expected to start within the 2022/23 financial year,” said Eng Seif.

He said since the loan lifespan is six years, he was optimistic that the construction will be completed within the loan time frame.

“The Jangwani bridge construction will not be less than three years and the Msimbazi valley development project will as well spend three years, but the duration will be known exactly after signing contracts of the construction works,” said TARURA CEO.

The project is currently in the preparation process, it will involve the construction of the new bridge and widening and dredging of the river bed from Kawawa Road to Selander Bridge to allow easy flow of rainwater into the Indian Ocean.

He said the government is committed to address rural and urban roads challenges, saying come 2025 almost 85 per cent of the roads network countrywide will be accessible throughout the year.

Eng Seif added that the WB also supported the Roads to Inclusion and Socio-Economic Projects (RISE) by providing 350 million US dollars (about 816bn/-) soft loan financing, which will give rural areas access to roads in good condition to enable them to access services and economic opportunities.

According to Eng Seif, RISE will upgrade roads with climate resilient approaches in six rural districts across four regions — Geita, Tanga, Lindi and Iringa thus promoting a sustainable model for routine maintenance, removing bottlenecks that inhibit the improvement of rural roads, and incorporating people-centered community engagement approaches.

RISE will also generate around 35,000 jobs, including 19,000 community-based routine maintenance contracts involving rural communities, with at least 20 per cent of these jobs held by women.

The project will also assist in laying the foundation for a greater level of ambition for inclusive sustainable rural road asset management in Tanzania, said Eng Seif. 

Outlining more on development partners support, he said EU grant under the Agri-connect project will facilitate construction of 43-kilometres of tarmac roads worth 22.5bn/- in the districts of Kilolo, Wanging’ombe, Busokelo and Mbozi saying, the project is currently at the procurement stage.

Eng Seif affirmed the TARURA commitment to repair and maintain the roads network and make the roads passable throughout the year for economic and social access and gains. 

He said for cost effectiveness, efficiency and time consumption they have started using alternative tested technologies which engage using raw materials at the construction sites.

He gave an example of the construction of 110 bridges worth 5bn/- by opting to use raw materials at the sites thus saving more that 50 per cent of the actual cost, saying they strive for the durability and standards.

“We are currently testing the soil quality at the construction sites and see if they are worth it through the alternative construction technology.

 Eng Seif said in the 2022/23 financial year, TARURA is planning to undertake routine maintenance of 21,595.72 road network kilometres, construction of 422.07km at tarmac level and construction of 11,074.56-km at gravel status.

TARURA in their 2021/25/26 Strategic Plan intends to increase the tarmac roads network from the current 2,404.90-km to 3,855.65-km whereas 4.2tr/- are projected for the construction works.

With a countrywide rural and urban roads network of 144,429.77-kilometres, they will be upgrading them taking into account the government commitment to increase the agency funds.

The Third Five Year-Development Plan (FYDP III) 2021/22) to 2025/26 has placed priority in taking comparative advantage of the geography and size of the country to enhance competitiveness, which include improvement of the road network.

However, according to FYDP III, the challenges besetting the infrastructural sector in Tanzania extend beyond road and transport to unlock Tanzania’s infrastructural potential to attract all sorts of manufacturing and processing industries, the document suggested for a need to hasten implementation of various which included complete construction of 2,500 km of paved roads, construct 6,006 km of paved roads, begin construction of 14 bridges and complete construction of seven bridges

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