Mererani township and some villages in Simanjiro district, Manyara region would soon be easily connected to Arusha and other parts of the country when a tarmac road is constructed, the area MP Christopher Ole Sendeka has said.
A 22 kilometre road that connects the Kilimanjaro International Airport (Kia) and the gemstone mining town would soon be paved after all contractual formalities with earmarked construction firm are formalized.
Speaking during an interview, the legislator revealed he had been assured by officials of the Tanzania National Road Agency (Tanroads) that, indeed, the road would soon be tarmaced.
"I have been informed that a foreign company will be contracted to lay bitumen on the road and that preparations are underway", he said, noting that once paved it would be a big relief to residents of Mererani and other parts of Simanjiro.
Despite attracting a big traffic, mainly because of the tanzanite mining business, the 22 kilometre long road linking Kia and Mererani has been in poor state, especially during the rainy season.
A few years ago, TanzaniteOne Company Limited, a giant tanzanite mining firm at Mererani was responsible for periodic maintenance of the road that turns dusty and potholed during the dry season.
For many years, residents of the mining town and adjacent villages have made repeated pleas to the government to upgrade the road.
During his visit to the area at the height of the election campaigns in 2010, President Jakaya Kikwete promised to upgrade it to improve transportation.Arusha Times Correspondent
A resident of the area Mr. Japhari Matimbwa said paving of the road would be a great relief to them and would spur the socio-economic development of the area but whose growth revolve around the rare tanzanite gemstone.
He added that although the stretch connecting the mining town and KIA was only 22 km, passengers in the public transport were charged not less than Sh. 2,500 each. The fare would fall to between Sh.800 and Sh. 1,000 once the road it tarmaced.
The same remarks were made by Mr. Haji Ngokwe, the chairman of the township authority Mr.Albert Siloli and others.
Residents of Arusha have welcomed news about the road upgrading, saying it can ease transport not only to Mererani but also to the adjacent Kiteto district as well.