Pemba — A LIFE-LINE of hope was extended to residents of Pemba after the opening of roads in rural areas. Residents on the island celebrated after President Ali Mohamed Shein officially opened the 35 kilometre-road network, recently upgraded to the tune of 38.4bn/-.
Thanks to American people, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) - Millennium Challenge Account (MCAT), in collaboration with the government of the United Republic of Tanzania.
According to Dr Juma Malik Akili, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure and Communication, the government contributed 21.7bn/- while the US through MCAT released 16.4bn/-.
"We are very happy as residents can now access health centres and markets for their farm produce," said Omar Ali Omar, community leader, Finya Ward (Shehia).
A resident of Finya Ward, Ms Fatma Hassan Bakar said, "We thank the American people and our government for the roads. Bad roads were a burden to expectant mothers as commuter buses did not reach villages.
The transportation of goods was also a problem." The improved roads include, Kipangani-Kangagani (2.7km); Mzambarauni Takao-Pandani- Finya (7.9km); Bahanasa-Daya- Makongeni-Mtambwe (13.8km); Mzambarauni Karim-Finya- Mapofu (8.7km); and Chwale- Likoni (1.9km).
Mr Shein joined with the people of Pemba North led by Regional Commissioner (RC), Mr Dadi Faki to further thank the American people as he asked road users and residents of Pemba to support government's development initiatives by making sure they maintain and protect the roads. "Government is committed to bringing development to the people.
This includes upgrading roads," said Mr Shein. Ms Virginia Blaser from the US Embassy speaking at the occasion said, "The rural roads project will provide the people of Northern Pemba with better access to schools, health care facilities and other socio-economic activities."
She said the US is happy to support Zanzibar, but emphasised the promotion of democracy, good governance, peace and unity.
Support from the US to Zanzibar includes the power project whereby a 100 megawatt submarine cable was installed to increase electricity supply from Dar es Salaam to Unguja.