By Lake Zone Watch Writer
The government has tripled its budgetary allocation to the Tanzania Rural Urban Roads Agency ( TARURA) in the 2022/2023 financial year, giving it a fresh impetus in the implementation of its construction and repair projects of district roads.
In a report showing TARURA’s performance in the last financial year and its current plans, Chief Executive Officer ( CEO) Eng Victor Seff told reporters in Dodoma on Thursday that the agency is currently implenting its second strategic plan to ensure at least 85 per cent of district roads are passable throughout the year by 2025.
He said as at June 2023, the country’s district road network status was graded as good (30.31%), average (32.47%,) and bad ( 37.23%), noting that the network covers a total of 144,429.77 kms out of which 3,053.26 (2.11%) have so far been constructed to tarmac level while 38,141.21 kilometres (26.41%) are gravelled and 103,235.30 km (71.48%) are still rough roads. Some 3,105 bridges and 75,620 calverts have also been constructed.
Outlining the main challenges, the CEO said a great deal of the district network are terrains of rough roads which are damaged, sometimes massively especially during the rainy season, thus making many areas around the country impassable.
However, during the 2023/24 financial year, a total of 21,057.06 km will be upgraded, 427km of which will be tarred, 8,775.62 km will be gravelled and 855 bridges and calverts will be constructed while 70 storm water channels will be built.
‘’A total of 858.517bn/- has been approved for construction, repair, and infrastructural rehabilitation. Of this money, 710.31bn/- comes from the government while 148.207bn/- was sourced from outside through RISE, TACTIC, Dar es Salaam’s Msimbazi Valley and Agri connect projects,’’ said Eng Seff.On the use of alternative technology and materials available at the site of a project, the CEO said that is one of TARURA’s priorities in order to reduce construction costs.
“ Until March 2023,TARURA had managed to build 163 stone bridges for 8.7bn/-, which was 50 percent less of the total cost, in the regions of Kigoma (92), Singida (24), Tabora (5), Kilimanjaro (10) Mbeya (2), Arusha (6), Morogoro (2), Rukwa (3), Pwani (1), Ruvuma (3 ) and Iringa (15), ” he said.
TARURA was formed in 2017 to manage construction and rehabilitation of district roads to ensure rural areas which rely on agriculture and contributing 26 per cent of the GDP, are reachable throughout the year.