Ray of light as deal inked for key road project in Mtwara

THE government has continued to walk the talk in undertaking infrastructural projects aimed at opening up the country and stimulating economic activities in the regions located in the southern parts of Tanzania.

In ensuring the determinations are met, on Wednesday the government signed contracts  for the construction of 160 kilometres tarmac road from Mnivata- Newala to Masasi  in Mtwara Region at a cost of 234.5bn/-.

The deal was inked between Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) and two Chinese companies that are China Wu Yi Co and the China Communications Construction Company Limited.

Funds for the projects would be provided by African Development Bank (AfDB) including the construction of Mwiti Bridge in the region.

Attending the signing ceremony, Minister for Works and Transport Prof Makame Mbarawa said the project is meant to provide better access to services for people, particularly those in the villages as well as easing transport and transportation of raw materials for manufacturing of goods.

According to him, out of the 160km to be built,  the China Wu Yi Company would undertake the 100 km section from Mnivata to Mitesa for 141.96bn/-,  while the remaining 60km from Mitesa to Masasi would be executed by China Communications Construction Company Limited at a cost of 92.55bn/-.

He expressed the need for TANROADS to strictly monitor and oversee the construction process and ensure value for money is observed.

“The cost for implementing the project is very high. I hereby, direct TANROADS to strictly manage the construction process of the road and the bridge so that they can be used as required,” Minister Mbarawa said.

According to him, the government has given a priority to construct the road (Mnivata Newala-Masasi) to facilitate movements of people and various goods such as coal, cements and food crops among others.

The road, according to the minister, will help link Mtwara with Ruvuma, Lindi and Coast Regions as well as serve as a main link for Tanzania and Mozambique through the Mtwara corridor.

Prof Mbarawa went on to reiterate on the need for Mtwara authorities to provide cooperation to contractors of the road as well ensuring better management of the construction equipment to avoid theft.

Speaking at the occasion, the TANROADS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr Mohammed Besta vowed for a strict management of the implementation process basing on technical standards and ensuring the project is completed on time.

He called on the constructors of the project to ensure smart work as well as completing the work within the scheduled time.

On his part, Mtwara Regional Commissioner Colonel Ahmed Abbas thanked President Samia Suluhu Hassan for walking her talks, while also assuring the minister for commitment towards good cooperation with the contractors to implement the construction process.

In the coming financial year 2023/24, the government through the ministry of Works and Transport is planning to implement 19 key priorities under the 3.55tri/- budget.

Out of the priorities, seven are in the works sector whose implementation will add 3,934.7 new kilometres to the country’s network of tarmac roads.

Currently, the country’s network of tarmac roads stands at 11,387.82km, meaning, the additional 3,934.7 will expand the coverage to 15, 321km.

Completion of the projects will be implemented in the coming financial year, making the country to have a total of 15,522.52-km, recording an increase of 34 per cent.

Prof Mbarawa said in May this year that the projects will be implemented under arrangement of Engineering Construction and Financing (EPC+C).

“In the coming financial year, the government will also commence the implementation for construction of 205-km of Expressway from Kibaha in the Coast Region to Morogoro Region under Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement,” he said.

According to him, right now, the government is in the evaluation process to identify contractors, who have expressed their interest in executing the project for the Kibaha- Chalinze section that covers 78.9 -km.

Prof Mbarawa informed the National Assembly that the consultant engineer is continuing with feasibility study for the second section from Chalinze-Morogoro at a distance of 206.1km

The minister explained further that the government would continue with the construction of various roads projects at a length of 1031.98km that are in various stages of implementation.

“The ministry shall carry on construction of 393.6-km roads, whose contracts were signed during the current financial year 2022/23,” he said.

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