KIGONGO-BUSISI BRIDGE: What mega project promises

CONSTRUCTION of the Kigongo-Busisi Bridge that crosses Lake Victoria in Mwanza Region is set to be accomplished by February 2024, the government has assured.

The project which is undertaken at a cost of 716bn/- has reached 72 per cent and upon completion, it will save time for movement of goods, people and services in Mwanza, Geita and other Lake Zone regions.

This was said on Sunday in Sengerema District by the Deputy Minister for Works and Transport (Works portfolio) Eng Godfrey Kasekenya during a signing ceremony for the construction of the 54km of tarmac road from Sengerema-Nyehunge and new ferry that will be plying between Buyagu and Mbarika.

According to him, both the contractors and workers (workforces) have been receiving their payments on time, more significantly enabling the purchase of necessary materials including cement and steel for the construction process on time.

“President Samia Suluhu Hassan has put her focus on ensuring that all the construction projects are implemented and completed on time as per the determinations of simplifying movement of people, goods and services for national development,” he said.

Equally, he assured the commitment of the government to ensure all regions are linked with the tarmac roads as per the instruction of the election manifesto of the ruling party CCM for the year 2020-2025.

The deputy minister also mentioned other construction projects that the government is implementing in the Lake Zone and western part of the country, saying: “Right now, the government is working to link Tabora, Kigoma and Katavi regions with tarmac roads, a move that will facilitate transportation of goods and movement of people from the western zone to other parts of the country.

“Currently, there are five constructors who are constructing the 260km of tarmac road from Nyakanazi-Kasulu-Manyovu, the work will be complete next year.”

Eng Kasekenya also mentioned the project from Kigoma- Uvinza- Kaliua in Tabora region, and another one as from Kazilabwa-Chagu-Malagalasi.

“The government is also implementing another project from Kigoma-Uvinza and Uvinza-Mpanda in the Katavi region, contractors of these projects are well proceeding with their tasks,” he assured.

The deputy minister noted further that when this project is done, all regions of Tanzania mainland will be connected with tarmac roads, adding that from here the government will put focus on constructing the strategic roads.

“We thank President Samia for allowing the execution of the 54.4kilometres of this strategic road from Sengerema to Nyehunge…this project is crucial in opening up more economic potentials for residents of Lake Zone regions at large,” he said.

The project will be constructed by the NVM contracted company of Türkiye at a cost amounting to 73bn/- fully funded by the government.

The deputy minister also said the government has signed a total of 18 various contractors for the construction and rehabilitation of ships and ferries in its grand move to improve marine transport.

“The contracts are worth a total of 60.72bn/- of which the government has already paid 20bn/-,” he explained.

A list has the new MV Mwanza ship that is capable of carrying 1200 passengers, 40 tonnes, 20 small vehicles and three large ones.

The ship that has meeting rooms will be plying between large towns such as Mwanza, Bukoba (in Kagera) and Port Bell, which is the small industrial centre in the greater metropolitan Kampala area, in Uganda.

“The government under the leadership of President Samia has also revived the ferries that ply in various places in Lake Victoria for the sake of easing movement of people in the surrounding areas,” he said.

He went on to mention other roads that are under construction including Tarime-Mugumu, Burigi-Chato, Kitengule bridge that is built together with 18km of feeder roads as well as Nyamuswa, Bunda, Kisorya to Nansio that has 56.4 kilometres.

Other projects whose execution are on the procurement process include the construction of Simiyu Bridge 150metres that has  three kilometres of feeder roads,  Sungusila- Nzera 20.36km, Kyerwa- Musushaka 50km, Businde- Murongo 53km and Kagera sugar junction.

“All these projects have been highlighted in the CCM   election manifesto,” he noted, saying the government is also constructing a new ferry that will operate between Buyagu and Mbarika.

The ferry that will be constructed by Songoro Marine Transport Ltd of Mwanza at a cost of 3.8bn/- will have capacity of carrying 50 tonnes that includes 10 passengers and six vehicles.

Going forward, the deputy minister instructed the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) and the Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency (Temesa) to properly supervise the projects.

“The projects have to be implemented with high standards and be completed on time,” he instructed.

Earlier, the Mwanza Regional Commissioner Adam Malima thanked President Samia for her determination on executing the projects that will play a role in uplifting living standards of people in the region.

“Better infrastructure is a key to development of all people in our communities, which is why the government is dishing out a lot of money for construction of roads, and other supportive infrastructure,” he said.

For their parts, Members of Parliament for Sengerema Hamis Tabasamu and Erick Shigongo of Buchosa said the projects are beneficial for economic development in their constituencies.

“On several occasions, we have been pushing the government to implement these projects, finally today our dream has come true. Thanks to President Samia for  bringing us this joy,” said Mr Tabasamu in a note that was seconded by Mr Shigongo.

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