Inter-regional roads open up Katavi economy

THE completion of 216-kilometre road project to tarmac level linking Mpanda town in Katavi, Tabora, Kigoma and Rukwa regions has given a sigh of relief to citizens, traders and farmers who used to travel long distances on rough roads for decades.

The 216-km road construction went simultaneously with the rehabilitation of 120-metre Koga Bridge at the border of Katavi and Tabora. The regions are forming the Western Zone.

Equally, the project eased the movements of people, goods and services to and from Katavi, Rukwa, Kigoma and, Tabora.

Scores of bus and truck drivers separately confided to ‘Daily News’ recently that travelling on rough roads from Mpanda- Unyonga-Tabora in those days was like ‘hell on earth’.

“We remain thankful to the government for improving transport infrastructures, including 216 kilometres carriageway and Koga Bridge as it also helps us improve our incomes,” said Mr Moses Ulimboka, a truck driver.

One of the motorists, Mr Said Ahmed admitted said they did not expect the carriageways linking Katavi and Tabora to be in the state they witnessed as before they used to travel through dusty and muddy roads for hours, in rainy season the road was almost impassable.

“We have all reasons to smile since the roads are very crucial in economic development,” Mr Ahmed said.

Mr John Edwin gave his shocking testimony by saying during the dark days; it would take even two weeks travelling by bus between Mpanda, Katavi and Tabora during the rainy season when the Koga River overflown.

“In those days one or two buses were plying between Mpanda and Tabora Mwanza a day. Today we have buses traveling as far as Mwanza,” Mr Edwin said.

The Katavi Region Tanroads Manager, Engineer Martin Mwakabende admitted that when the Katavi region was officially established a decade ago, it had less than 2.0 kilometres of tarmac roads.

“During those dark years the road stretching from Mpanda -Inyonga – Tabora road could close for almost six months from each January due to overflowing of water at the then depilated Koga Bridge.

“Katavi residents were compelled to travel a long distance of 300kilometres to Kigoma via Tabora compared to now a direct route covering 216kilometres,” Eng Mwakabende said.

Additionally, Eng Mwakabende said they managed to cut construction costs from a projected 500bn/- to 432.2bn/-. Katavi Regional Commissioner, Ms Mwanamvua Mrindoko said the road constructions serve as the economic and social gateway for the residents in the region.

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