ZANZIBAR: ZANZIBAR’S First Vice-President Othman Masoud Othman has called upon the public to protect road infrastructure since the government is spending a lot of money in improving the sector to ensure smooth movement of people, goods and services.
He made the call over the weekend during the launch of a 5.3-Km Kipapo- Mgelema road in Pemba, insisting that when the infrastructure is protected, it will last longer.
“The government is spending a lot of money in reconstructing or improving roads in the country. Let us celebrate the achievement and make the best use of it to increase production while protecting them from being damaged,” Othman said while opening the road in Pemba South Region.
He said roads in the region facilitate transportation, as most of the challenges of poor roads have ended after their reconstruction, advising them to use them for economic benefits.
The opening of Kipapa-Malema road was among the activities to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1964 revolution that climax on January 12th 2024 at the Amani Stadium renamed as ‘New Amani complex’.
Othman said the road will enable farmers to transport their crops easily and help the people to easily access various services including education and health.
“I call upon you to ensure the road is protected by avoiding construction in road reserve areas, including avoiding any activities that destroy the road,” he told residents.
He reminded citizens to continue taking environment conservation seriously by planting many trees which also provide fruits, shadow and other benefits.
“Road construction is very expensive, as around 600,000 US dollars is spent for a kilometre. This necessitates government agencies and people to fulfill the responsibility of maintaining the transport infrastructure,” he emphasised.
He directed the Zanzibar Ministry of Infrastructure, Communication and Transport to ensure they provide adequate education to citizens about the appropriate use of the road as the government has already spent more than 572m/- to pay compensation to the citizens whose farms, houses and other properties were affected by the project.
The First Vice-President also used the opportunity to address people, condemning acts of abuse of women and children in the country that are still being reported despite public awareness to stop the crime.
“It is everyone’s role to make Zanzibar free of sexual violence against the vulnerable members of the group,” he said.
The isles Minister for Infrastructure, Communications and Transport Dr Khalid Salum Mohamed said that the key to economic development is the existence of good transport infrastructure, including roads and airports, and that the revolutionary government of Zanzibar has been paying great attention to the matter in efforts to promote the economy and development for its people in both Unguja and Pemba.
Regional Commissioner (RC) for Pemba South Region Mr Matar Zahor Masoud said that the construction of the road was an important step for the people of the area as it will speed up their economic activities.
He said more than half of all cloves produced in Pemba come from the region and that the area is one of the largest producers of clove.
On her part, Principal Secretary in the Ministry Ms Khadija Khamis Rajab said that the road is capable of accommodating vehicles weighing no more than ten tonnes and that all citizens have the responsibility to ensure that they maintain the road so that it can last longer before requiring major repair.