MASSIVE investments in road infrastructure under Regional Administration and Local Government have seen road networks being expanded by 52 per cent in the past five years.
The Minister of State, President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG) Mr Selemani Jafo said in the past five years the government under strong leadership of President John Magufuli accomplished construction of 699 kilometres road network under local government, which is equivalent to an increase of 52 per cent.
He said in 2015, the country had a total of 1,325 kilometers road network at tarmac level under local government, but during the past five years, investment in the sector has increased the coverage to 2,024.9 kilometers.
Mr Jafo was speaking in Dodoma yesterday during an occasion to mark Infrastructure Day for Regional Administration and Local Government themed ‘Better Infrastructure in Regional Administration and Local Government is Essential for Strengthening Middle Income Economy.’
“In 2015, the country had the road network covering a length of 22,089km at gravel level but during this period, we have increased the coverage to 24,493 km, which is equivalent to an increase of 11 per cent,” Mr Jafo said.
He said the construction of roads and other infrastructure such as bridges under his ministry has improved rural connectivity and people’s access to essential services.
“When you improve gravel roads, you reduce the number of earth roads... but we have also strengthened 82.428 km of earth roads... when you combine all roads (tarmac, gravel and earth) the fifth phase government has done a great job,” he said.
He commended the government for facilitating his ministry to reach the majority of Tanzanians with the service by allocating funds for the execution of the projects.
“Previously, there were some Tanzanians, who could not move from one place to another due to poor road conditions and lack of bridges but to date, the situation has changed,” Mr Jafo said.
He said that although the government had improved 99 big bridges in areas such as Bahi, Kiteto, Manyoni, Kondoa and Mbarali among others, it has also constructed a total of 135 small bridges with the aim of easing movement of people, goods and provision of services.
He said that currently, the PORALG has 108,946.19 km road network overseen by Tanzania Rural Roads Agency (TARURA).
Mr Jafo said that to date, the government had disbursed 3.463tri/- for the construction of infrastructure in various areas under local government.
He noted that development partners such as Department for International Development (DFID), European Union and USAID dished out more than 200bn/- which has enabled rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure and construction of new roads.
Mr Jafo further said that the Roads Fund Board has also provided 1.305tri/- to ensure smooth execution of the projects by TARURA.
He added that the government has also allocated 1.98tri/- as special funds for improving roads network in three projects namely strategic cities, municipalities and city councils and Dar es Salaam City.
In totality, during the past five years, the government has accomplished construction of a new tarmac road network of 3,500 kilometres, thus making a country have a total of 12,964 kilometres road network.