THE construction of Mbezi Up-Country Bus Terminal in Dar es Salaam is at 53 per cent stage with its implementers assuring that the completion was still within the targeted time-frame of June this year.
The revelation was made over the weekend by Y & P Architects (T) Consultant Architect Aggrey Ndibo, while briefing Architects and Quantity Surveyors Registration Board (AQRB) delegate that toured the site for the purpose of being updated on its progress.
The delegate also wanted to know how local professionals have been involved in the big project(s), and how they are being nurtured for future expertise by foreign experts to reduce the country's dependency on external professionals.
"The project costs about 55bn/- and it is a 18 month construction work, and we have already spent 12 months. We do expect that its completion as per the plan... though the topography isn't' flat to support quick construction... but we fight to make it possible," he said.
He further told the entourage that with its completion, the new bus terminal would be able to accommodate about 3, 430 buses per day in comparison to the current Ubungo Bus that accommodates only 700 vehicles on daily basis.
In response on how the local experts have been involved in the project, the scheme's Clerk, Mr Alex Masatu said that about 50 students from various higher learning institutions had already participated in the assignment as interns for further learning and skills' sharpening as well as capacity building purposes.
Equally, he said that about 35 local experts are tasked in the project as full employees (not only for capacity building), besides between 300 to 400 others working as casuals, wage labourers.
"Over 90 per cent of manpower here is composed of locals and there are only 16 foreigners. Not only graduates, but also unskilled labourers do gain experience from this project," he said.
On his part, AQRB Chairperson, Dr Bonface Bulamile appraised the reached work stage, saying that involving local experts would make the country to completely phase out the culture of depending on foreign experts in the near future.
He further 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 learned a lot from the project, including how modern designing techniques are being applied to make use of slope lands here at the construction site," he said.