LATRA announces Dar- Mtwara emergency route

DAR ES SALAAM: THE Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA) has granted permission for Dar – Mtwara buses to use Songea – Makambako – Iringa route in an emergency measure following severe damage to the roads in southern parts of the country caused by torrential rains.

According to a statement released by the authority and signed by LATRA’s Head of the Public Relations and Communications, Salum Pazzy, the route officially began yesterday.

The development came after floods washed away various bridges that connect southern regions including Mbwemkuru Bridge and caused the communication breakdown.


The Saturday night’s heavy rain came as a result of the tropical cyclone ‘Hidaya’ before it completely lost its strength after its landfall on Mafia Island earlier on Saturday.

According to LATRA, there has been major damage to the road that connects Dar es Salaam, Lindi and Mtwara regions through Kilwa.

The road is presently inaccessible in the affected areas of Somanga, Njia Nne, Masaninga, Cheketu and Matandu.

“The authority gives emergency permission to transporters (Dar -Mtwara) whose schedules have been affected, to use Songea – Makambako – Iringa as an alternative route until the damaged infrastructure is repaired,” LATRA stated.

Regarding the fairs for the alternative route, the authority emphasised that transporters should consider distance-based fares as shown in the indicative fare tables provided by LATRA.

In particular, the authorities encouraged drivers to follow traffic laws, rules, and regulations and to take precautions, especially for those who would be driving on routes they are unfamiliar with.

“LATRA encourages drivers to follow traffic laws, rules and regulations and to take precautions, especially for those who would be driving on routes they are unfamiliar with particularly when passing mountainous areas and not to cross on moving waters,” the statement reads in part.

In response to challenge, Mr Pazzy said, the Authority continues to cooperate with transporters and the Police Force so that passengers who could not continue with the journey were returned to the stations where they started their journeys.

In a related development, the authority reminded the services providers to adhere to rules and regulations including using e-ticketing.

In response to the damage of the infrastructure, Minister for Works Mr Innocent Bashungwa said the government is continuing taking concerted efforts to restore the Dar -Mtwara paralysed transport services.

Speaking to a local radio yesterday, the minister said a team of experts from Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) has already been dispatched by the government and has arrived at the site.

Mr Bashungwa said the team will work day and night to ensure the transport services is restored in 72 hours.

However, according to the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA), normal long rains are expected to continue in some areas especially over the Lake Victoria basin, North-eastern highlands and Northern coast.

TMA therefore, advised the public to continue making close follow-up, consider and effectively utilise forecast and early warning information released by the authority.

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