CONSTRUCTION of new Selander Bridge in Dar es Salaam is nearly at 26 per cent with the contractor still insisting on completion by October next year.
The Project Engineer Ms Lulu Dunia made the assurance in Dar es Salaam on Thursday while briefing Architects and Quantity Surveyors Registration Board (AQRB) delegates, who toured their site to learn more from the project.
The tour was also aimed at observing how local professionals were getting involved in the project in the process of being nurtured to become future experts, in line with the country's strategy to minimize dependency on foreign experts.
"The project is expected to cost over 240bn/-...the construction kicked off in 2018 and we expect to complete it before the initially agreed timeframe, but we are currently ahead by 1.5 per cent," she said.
Explaining how the local experts have been involved in the project, the Team Leader, Engineer Samson Kundineza said that about 17 experts (graduates) were working with the project and stationed in different consultancy and contractor departments, mainly for capacity building purposes.
He added about 120 local experts were working as full participants (not only for capacity building), besides over 570 locals, serving as labourers.
"In totality, over 90 per cent of the locals are involved in this project. There are only 51 foreigners. As my colleagues have just said, the project will be completed in time. We are currently at over 25 per cent, but expecting to cover about 50 per cent before year end, and make a total of about 75 per cent," he said.
Equally, he appealed to the government to continue waiving tax exemptions for all imported building materials.
Commenting, EQRB Chairperson, Dr Bonface Bulamile commended the work, saying involving local experts would make the country to completely avoid dependency on external experts in the near future.
He said that the Board has agreed to register only local experts (graduates) who have practiced in any of the big local projects for not less than two years.
"We are happy to hear that many locals are participating in this project for skill sharpening and capacity building. We, seniors have also learnt a lot from the project, including how modern technologies have been applied to conserve the environments in the name of protecting Sea creatures and the public at large," he said.