Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

7 January 2013

Tanzania: River Nduruma Bridge Construction Begins

Arusha — THE construction of the bridge crossing above a section of River Nduruma, which connects Meru and Arusha- Rural Districts through Amreni and Sasi villages has resumed, and is expected to be completed in few weeks' time.

So far, the communication between the two villages has been cut off, following series of landslides that saw the collapse of the previous bridge. The rains that have been falling in the area between November and December last year have not only washed away the important crossing, but also rendered construction project difficult.

"When it rains clay and black cotton soil get soggy with the two river banks getting mushy," explained the contractor, Mr Ally Swai, who is the Managing Director of A&E Building and Civil Engineering of Arusha which is undertaking the task.

But the contractor said that so far, the project is going on well, and 90 per cent of the initial work has been accomplished. According to Engineer Swai, the bridge stretches to cover a length of 4.5 metres and widening at 5.2 metres from edge to edge.

"The construction will cost over 103m/- upon completion," explained Mr Swai adding that the bridge is an important link between two villages as well as the two districts whose residents have to trek long distances in order to cross along the main Arusha-Moshi highway to either side.

The bridge project commenced last August and had to be stalled when the rains started at the end of last November and the downpour though slightly abated, still precipitates in the area even now. River Nduruma basin elevates into steep cliffs on either banks rendering crossing the valley, without a bridge to be almost impossible for the residents of Amreni Village in Arusha-Rural and Sasi (Meru), to be almost marooned on either side.

The Arusha-Rural District Council, according to its Director Mr Khalifa Hida, is undertaking the project as main client. The Nduruma River Bridge was washed away during the heavy and long rains (Masika) spells in the area, between March and May last year.

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