Govt tackles transport woes in Rukwa

PEOPLE in Rukwa Region are breathing a sigh of relief now with the easing of transport woes thanks to the on-going road construction and repairs; projects that are expected to open up trade and investment opportunities in the region.

Local markets are now flourishing. New customers flock from distant villages, new vendors have settled in and new shops are open as new and rehabilitated roads provide cheaper access to both; markets and other social services.

TARURA Rukwa Regional Manager, Engineer Samson Kalesi said the agency used 12.78bn/- during the 2021/22 financial year to construct roads. The money came from the constituent development fund, road toll, road fund and the government.

TARURA in Rukwa Region serves 3,304.26kms of road network with 75 bridges, 2,503culverts, 37 drifts and 222 box culverts.

Additionally, the agency also serves 41.817kms of tarmac roads, 847.18kms of roads at gravel level and 1,418.66kms of earth roads.

Tanzania is pushing ahead to improving rural transport, which plays an indispensable role in achieving more than half of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including alleviating poverty, ensuring food security as well as achieving zero hunger.

The country is fulfilling the goals of the 2030 Agenda of SDGs of ‘ leave no one on the side road or behind’.

He further explains that the amount of 710 m/- were budgeted from the development fund as well as 2.5bn/- from the state fund.

Eng Kalesi said the maintenance of gravel level project to 319.13kms, ordinary maintenance of 343.79kms and construction of new 28 culverts and nine bridges to ease the movement of people, goods and services.

“Also, there was the rehabilitation of a 2.34kms road project at tarmac level in Sumbawanga municipality,” said Eng Kalesi.

Elaborating, he further added that all four Nkasi, Kalambo and Sumbawanga District councils and Sumbawanga municipality have benefited.

“I ask citizens to continue protecting these roads along with other infrastructures so that they can last for a longtime, because their construction costs the government and tax-payers a lot of money,” stressed Eng Kalesi.

The Third National Five-Year Development Plan has also prioritized construction as one of the few fastest growing sectors which contributes the largest share of GDP.

The plan focuses on strengthening and building basic infrastructure to stimulate economic activity through provision of special development projects to local contractors, enhancing Skills Development, training and capacity building programmes for local professionals (Contractors, Engineers, Architect and Quantity Surveyors) among others.

Chama Cha Mapinduzi Election Manifesto 2020- 2025 also emphasises on construction and repair of road infrastructure to enable the construction sector to attain its objectives of enabling citizens to continue with production activities in order to earn income.

The party therefore directed the government to take various steps to attain the objective among others to strengthen the Roads Fund professional, systemic and institutional capacity for TARURA to execute road maintenance activities.

Kalambo District Council Chairman, Mr Daud Sichone said the improvements have opened ways for transportation of crops from field to marketing centers.

He called upon the government to allocate more budgets for the district council to improve roads infrastructure which are in need of maintenance.

As a result of the work carried out by TARURA, the residents of Rukwa Region remain grateful to the government for the construction of the roads in their areas as previously they encountered inconvenience because the infrastructure was impassable during the rainy season and caused hardship to the citizens.

Nkasi district resident, Ms Christina Amos said she was grateful to witness that the pledge made by the government to construct the roads has materialized.

A Sumbawanga Municipal resident, Mr Jonas Mwale said they are thankful to see Sumbawanga town with tarmac road which makes it to have the same status like other cities. He appealed to the town authorities to continue investing in improving the roads.

Likewise, the government via TARURA has continued to empower local firms in Rukwa Region by signing 29 contracts worth 6.18bn/- with local contractors to implement road projects.

The 29 signed contracts involve road projects that would be executed in Sumbawanga municipality, Sumbawanga, Nkasi and Kalambo district councils.

The road projects will be executed for six months and upon completion will ease the movement of people, services and goods.

Witnessing the signing of 26 contracts, recently, Rukwa Regional Commissioner Ms Queen Sendiga said that TARURA in the region ought to oversee the project without fear, adding that value for money in the implementation of the projects should be observed.

“TARURA must be vigilant to ensure the projects are executed as per contract agreements and not otherwise,” she insisted.

Breaking down the 6.18bn/- which will finance the 29 roads projects, TARURA Rukwa Regional Manager, Eng Kalesi said the fund includes 4.037bn/- from the Road Fund, 2.50bn/- from the central government and 5.50bn/- from fuel levy.

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