Mwanza-Isaka SGR project at 44 per cent completion

SHINYANGA : THE construction of the Lot 5 of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Mwanza-Isaka, which is set to give the Lake Zone fresh impetus as a business hub for the Great Lakes region, has reached 44.25 per cent.

The multi-trillion project in Shinyanga Region covering a 341-kilometre stretch, of which 249-kilometre is being executed in partnership with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and China Railway Construction Company (CRCC) at 1.321 billion US dollars, estimated as 3.45tri/- is set to be completed next year.

Once completed, the major project will open up the central corridor by facilitating economic opportunities undertaken by various traders and investors, especially by offering reliable transportation networks as it transports their goods via the Dar es Salaam Port.

The Project Manager, Engineer Christopher Callist disclosed this while briefing the Minister for Transport, Professor Makame Mbarawa who visited the project to see the project progress.

“The current progress is an indication that the project would be completed according to the contract agreement. The government is releasing funds to the contractor on time who is at work all the time and the project will be completed quickly,” he said.

Engineer Callist noted that the main work was the construction of humps which stands at 80 per cent involving laying a railway work of about 24 kilometres and installing poles for the power connection.

He also pointed out that other systems that work parallel with the ridge were also underway, including plating grass to protect the railway humps that has been completed.

Equally, the construction of 606 bridges for the passage of electrical and communication systems, animals and human beings, cars and for the ordinary trains was also progressing rapidly.

On the other hand, construction works at Shinyanga and Mwanza section has been completed while the Tabora section is near its completion as only 20 per cent was still remaining.

Speaking after visiting the project, which runs through Simiyu, Mwanza, Shinyanga and Tabora regions, Prof Mbarawa said the project, worth 1.32 billion US dollars, will trigger growth of economic activities in the Lake zone regions and the neighbouring countries.

“We are very grateful to President Samia Suluhu Hassan who is very much committed in doing everything to ensure that all major strategic projects continue to be implemented at the right pace,” said Engineer Mbarawa.

The Minister expressed his satisfaction with the pace of the construction, stating that the contractor of the project, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) was progressing well with the work as per the contract.

Equally, he expressed the government’s commitment to ensuring that the contractor submits the certificate of payment to the table and clearance will be done in due time.

According to him, the contractor is expected to officially hand over the completed project to the country in 2024.

Commenting, Shinyanga Regional Commissioner, Ms Christina Mndeme said the completion of the project will open the central corridor and enable it to grow economically, especially by connecting the Lake District regions to neighbouring DR Congo, Burundi and Rwanda.

In addition, the RC noted that Shinyanga Region, being a link between the Lake Zone and Central Zone and neighbouring countries, has changed the 1,333 hectares of Buzwagi mining area to be “Special Economic Zone,” which will be used for industrial investments as part of the economic transformation at a time when SGR construction will be completed.

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