CONSTRUCTION of strategic infrastructures has been among President John Magufuli top priorities ever since he assumed the presidency on November 5, 2015.
The head of state, who before his election to Tanzania’s top office served in the work ministry for the bigger part of his 20 years spell at ministerial, has initiated a number of projects that aimed at lifting the country’s socio-economic status.
As his first presidential term edges towards the end, Dr Magufuli is touted for overseeing key infrastructure projects, notably the construction of the state-of-the-art Ubungo interchange, Tazara flyover, new Selander Bridge and the expansion of Morogoro road all in Dar es Salaam.
Under his administration, the country has also witnessed initiation and construction of big bridges such as Kigongo- Busisi in Mwanza, the Magufuli Bridge in Kilombero district, Morogoro region.
Moreover, a huge number of kilometres of road have continued to be constructed at tarmac level, as part of deliberate efforts to facilitate smooth movement of people, goods and services across the country.
Kudos to him, most of the projects are domestically funded by the Tanzanian taxpayers —that’s doing justice to Tanzanians who work hard and pay tax for the greater interest of the country.
When dissolving the 11th Parliament in Dodoma on June 16th this year, President Magufuli revealed that his administration has so far managed to construct 3,500 kilometres of roads at tarmac level, making the country’s total length of tarmac roads reach 12,964 kilometres.
“The construction of another 2,000 kilometres of road at tarmac level is at various stages,” Dr Magufuli told the Parliament “We have completed construction of 13 big bridges including the Nyerere Bridge in Kigamboni and Magufuli Bridge at Sibiti River. Other bridges that are under construction include the 3.2 kilometres long Kigongo-Busisi bridge, Wami bridge that has 513.2 metres as well as the 1.03 kilometre–long Selander Bridge,” he added.
For the first time in the history of Tanzania, the country has managed to construct Interchange at Ubungo area and Tazara flyover, with the modern structures sought to reduce congestion, which is a burning issue among Dar es Salaam dwellers.
The Ubungo interchange project is in the final stages of completion and jointly funded by the government of Tanzania and World Bank at the tune of 188.71bn/- .
Right now, a part of the project that links vehicles from city centre to Kimara and vice versa (along the Morogoro road), are already in use with the engineers being at work to complete the remaining section that connects Sam Nujoma and Mandela roads.
The Tazara flyover, named Eng Patrick Mfugale Flyover, along the Julius Nyerere road and Mandela expressway, was completed during the first three years of the fifth-phase regime.
Built at a cost of $45 million (about 106bn/-), the flyover was funded by the government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).
The Magufuli Bridge, which connects Simiyu and Singida regions, is another milestone achievement by Dr Magufuli’s government, which fully financed its construction at a cost of 61.1bn/-.
The bridge that was inaugurated in May, 2018 has a length of 384 metres and two-ways that have the capacity to carry 180 tonnes on each side.
It includes a pedestrian path and solar lighting, and is expected to last for more than 120 years. The Kigongo-Busisi bridge is yet another government’s fully funded project.
Its completion would not only enhance movement of people and goods, but would also curb marine accidents and promote trade in the region around Lake Victoria.
The bridge will link Kigongo and Busisi, connecting Tanzania’s Mwanza and Geita regions. It is considered the longest in East Africa and the sixth longest in Africa.
During the official launching of the bridge’s construction, Dr Magufuli said the project is set to enhance the movement of people and goods, curb marine accidents and promote trade in the region.
Seeking to reduce congestion in the commercial city of Dar es Salaam, the government sanctioned the construction of Selander Bridge that crosses the Indian Ocean, linking the famous Coco Beach area and Barack Obama drive at Aga Khan Hospital.
The project worth 256bn/-, a concessional loan secured from the republic of Korea through its Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF).
Other major bridge projects currently under construction are Wami ( Coast Region), Magara (Manyara), Sukuma (Mwanza), Kitengule (Kagera), Msingi (Singida) and Ruhuhu in Ruvuma region.
The expansion of the Morogoro road from Kimara in Dar es Salaam to Kibaha district in the Coast Region, from three to six lanes at a cost of 148bn/- is yet another proof of Dr Magufuli’s quest to connect the entire country with ultra-modern infrastructures.