Tanga — The anxiously awaited process leading to the construction of the 156 kilometre Tanga-Pangani-Saadani-Bagamoyo Highway is now on the right track, it has been revealed.
The Tanga regional manager of the Tanzania Road Agency (Tanroads), Mr Alfred Ndumbalo, revealed here that tenders for the construction of the first section of the highway were already offered.
He said the first section will involve a 50-kilometre stretch between Tanga and Pangani, and engineers were putting finishing touches, adding that it will be opened on March 21, this year. The completion of the section , according to the manager, will offer a huge relief for Pangani residents.
Mr Ndumbalo said that a total of Sh3 billion was allocated for the implementation of the road project.
The Tanga-Pangani-Saadani-Bagamoyo highway is an international project between Tanzania and Kenya which is under the East African Community.
The project, according to Mr Ndumbalo, involves construction of the highway from Malindi-Mombasa-Lungalunga/Horohoro border in Kenya to Bagamoyo in Tanzania.
The Tanzanian government has decided to commence the construction of the first section in response to Presidents John Magufuli's promise of starting construction even before the EAC secures funds from donors.
According Ndumbalo, the African Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) have shown interest in funding the construction of sections of the road. "The government has stepped up efforts to secure a donor for the construction of the highway," he said, adding that construction of the road project was previously scheduled to start in the 2017/18 financial year.
The construction of the road is expected to boost tourism in Pangani and its implementation would also involve construction of spar roads that would connect the main road with beach hotels along the Pangani coastal line.
Mr Ndumbalo said that to avoid destruction of wildlife resources the road will pass through Mkwaja to Mkalamo- Kwamsisi - Makange - Matipwili to Gama and link with Makurunge in the Msata-Bagamoyo Road.
For Pangani residents, the construction of the much-awaited road that connects the district with Tanga and Saadani - Bagamoyo in the Coast Region will be more than just politics.