TANZANIA Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA) in Bariadi district, Simiyu region has allocated more than 80mil/-for the improvement of the Igegu-Matongo-Gibishi-Halawa road this fiscal year.
TARURA, Acting Regional Coordinator for Simiyu, Eng Nyamagalula Ndango told the 'Daily News' yesterday at the ongoing Nane Nane Exhibitions that the 36km road is crucial in the area, especially for farmers who produce cotton, rice, maize and sunflower.
"Farmers in this area rely heavily on Tarura to ensure that these roads are easily accessible so that they can bring their products to market, thus we have set aside that amount for regular and special maintenance," he said.
Eng Ndango further said the agency was committed to ensuring that rural roads are accessible so that farmers can transport their products easily.
He said for Simiyu region, which has a 4,038km road network serviced by the agency, the agency has set aside 5.2bn/- in the 2020/2021 financial year, with special funds allocated for rural roads towards farms to reduce inconvenience to farmers.
The regional coordinator asserted that adequate infrastructure raises farm productivity and lowers farming costs and its fast expansion accelerates agricultural as well as economic growth rate, that's why Tarura has put much emphasis on rural roads.
He acknowledged that infrastructure plays a strategic role in producing larger multiplier effects in the economy with agricultural growth.
Regarding road damage, he said, in pastoralist regions such as Simiyu, it is a major challenge since many livestock keepers pass their cattle on roads whenever grazing, whilst overloaded heavy vehicles also destroy such infrastructures.
He added that road waterlogging tends to wear on the asphalt, causing initial cracks if water sinks into already formed cracks it can cause further damage in the base layer. Both surface cracks and major base layer damage will require asphalt repair.
"Another challenge is farming activities whereby while preparing their farms they cut down trees and during the rainy season the remains are picked up by the water and sent to the road where they block drainages. Eventually, running water overflow on roads, eventually destroying the infrastructure," he said.
The regional coordinator called on the community to take good care of the roads as farmers, pastoralists and fishermen depend on them for transporting their produce to local and foreign markets, "We should take care of our roads so that they can serve us the purpose that we expect."