Arusha — Funds available for Babati - Dodoma highway
Arusha is soon to be connected to Lusaka by a tarmac road. This means travelers from the city will no longer be compelled to pass through Tanga and coastal regions in order to get to Zambia.
This was stated by President Jakaya Kikwete as he flagged off the construction of the 100 kilometers road corridor linking Arusha City and Minjingu section where Arusha borders Manyara Region.
Funded by the World Bank through the Government of Tanzania the over 75 billion/- project is expected to take 900 days counted from the first day of construction, according to Engineer Desdedit Kakoko the Regional Manager for Tanzania Roads Network Agency.
The Project is being undertaken by a French Construction firm, M/s Sogea Satom.
The President later inaugurated the already completed section of the same Cape-Town to Cairo road, linking Minjingu and Babati Township of Manyara region, which extends to Singida via Dareda and reportedly built to very high standards.
"We have already mobilized resources for the construction of Babati to Kondoa road which will again join onto the Dodoma-Kondoa highway," said President Kikwete adding that with a further link connecting Dodoma and Iringa (nearly to be completed), soon Arusha will be connected to Lusaka (Zambia) with a straight, high-quality tarmac road.
"People feeling like traveling from Arusha to South Africa by road will no longer be compelled to go through Moshi, Korogwe, Chalinze and Morogoro. They will just use the Babati, Dodoma and Iringa corridor," added the President.
Already passenger buses commuting between Arusha and Dodoma have stopped using the Chalinze-Morogoro route, choosing the Babati-Singida to Dodoma way which has greatly reduced the journey time (by over 50 percent) from the previous 12 hours to the current 6 hours.
The two road sections that the president inaugurated early this month are parts of the legendary 'Great North Road.' The road links South Africa and Egypt via Arusha whose 'Clock Tower' junction at the heart of the Northern Tanzanian City is said to be the exact center point between South (Cape-Town) and North (Cairo) of the African continent.
The Minjingu-Arusha highway construction will also involve demolition of some properties situated on either side of the road once it enters the City in Majengo, Mbauda and Ngarenaro sections where some 100 parties stand to be compensated a total of 6 billion/-.
Meanwhile the Minister for Works Mr John Magufuli revealed that his ministry has already endorsed the project to construct a 15 kilometer-long 'Dual Carriage' highway linking the Sakina Section of Arusha-Namanga road to Tengeru, via Mianzini, Sanawari, Kimandolu and Ngulelo.
"The National Road Fund coffers boast over 430 billion/- annual collection which is an astounding increase from the previous 48 billion/- per year, which means the country is in better position to execute its own infrastructural projects unhampered by financial constraints," stated Mr Magufuli.