8 January 2013

Tanzania: Kikwete Launches Mbutu Bridge Construction

Igunga — PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete has highly praised local contractors who have teamed up to construct Mbutu bridge in Igunga district, Tabora region.

Launching the construction of Mbutu bridge on Monday, President Kikwete urged the local contractors to adhere to the required standards when building the bridge, to prove that local contractors are given major projects in the country.The 13 contractors have come together and formed a group known as 'Mbutu Bridge Joint Venture' under the supervision of 2 local consultants who have also formed a group knowns as PIDAEL Joint Venture.

Mr Kikwete cautioned them against rushing to finish the project before the given time frame stipulated in the contracts and instead observe all required standards and quality.Construction of the Mbutu bridge is set to be completed in November this year.

"I commend you for your intention to build this bridge before the time set, but I want to assure you that I am ready to open the bridge officially in December, according to the original plans, as long as you assure me that the bridge will be constructed as per required standards," he explained.

The construction of the Mbutu bridge is being implemented by a group of local contractors who have decided to come together as a group to embark on the major project in the country.The chairperson of the local contractors, Steven Makigo, said the construction of the 60-metre bridge comprises 7 small bridges with 15 metres length each.

Mr Makigo explained that the project will also include construction of a 3-kilometre hump, adding that the whole project is fully funded by the government.Tabora Regional Commissioner Ms Fatuma Mwasa told the public that turned out for the ceremony that once the construction is completed, the bridge will link the region through Igunga with Shinyanga, Simuyu and Singida regions.

Before the government decided to construct the bridge, the public at times used small boats that caused several accidents, some that have claimed people's lives, especially during rainy seasons.On his part, Tanroads Chief Executive Engineer Patrick Mfugale said the project is expected to cost over 11bn/- which includes construction costs 10.470bn/- and feasibility, design and supervision costs 926m/-.

The Chairman of Contractors Registration Board, Eng Consolata Ngimbwa, told the gathering that construction of the bridge by local contractors is among government's plan to ensure local contractors and consultants engineers are empowered to embark on major projects in the country.

The Minister for Works, Dr John Magufuli, said once the bridge and its roads are completed, it will bring social and economic opportunities to the area, including transportation of goods.The minister noted that because it will increase the number of vehicles plying the route due to business opportunities available, he has promoted the road from being under the district to regional authorities under the Road Act number 13 of 2007.

Dr Magufuli gave details of other bridges across the country that are in different stages of construction including the 680-metre Kigamboni bridge and 275-metre Kikwete bridge at Malagarasi river together with a 48-kilometre road stretch.Others are 80-metre Rusoma bridge that will link Tanzania and Rwanda, 82-metre Sibiti Bridge in Singida and 102-Nangoo bridge in Mtwara region.

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