Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Tanzania roads and highways get upgrades for better travel

It was learned that the road from the main gate to the rim of Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania is set to be paved, to ease movements of vehicles in particular during the rainy season.

The stretch inside the park has been known to be treacherous during heavy rains and the project to tarmac the 6 kilometers up to the rim have been broadly welcomed by safari operators, even though they have to use a detour at present in order to either leave the conservation area or else get into it.

A spokesperson for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority was quoted as having given a price tag of some 2.8 billion Tanzania shillings for the paving of the road which is, while leading to the rim of the crater, also the main route for safari traffic from Arusha to the Serengeti National Park as well as part of the transit route for traffic through the park destined for such places as Musoma on Lake Victoria. The work, according to information received from Arusha, should be completed by June 1 or soon afterwards though that may delay as a result of adverse weather conditions. The source also confirmed that there were no plans to tarmac other sections of this route inside the protected areas and that this particular stretch was selected to improve road safety and ensure that the road remains open year round and through the rainy seasons.

Meanwhile, the long-awaited start of construction of the planned highway between Arusha, Tanzania, and Voi in Kenya is now finally due to start in June this year, a source based in Arusha has confirmed.

The project worth nearly US$235 million will be largely financed through the African Development Bank, with the two governments of Kenya and Tanzania contributing some US$28 million combined.

The road project will, when completed, greatly ease road transport between the port city of Mombasa to Arusha, supporting regional trade but also boosting the flow of tourists who can then visit the attractions of the area without being shaken to bits as is presently the case along the road section between Taveta and Mwatate on the Kenyan side, arguably one of the worst trunk roads anywhere in Kenya.

The road links Tsavo East National Park with Tsavo West National Park towards Lake Jipe, the Taita Hills Game Reserve and Lake Chala while on the Tanzanian side the Mkomanzi National Park and the Kilimanjaro National Park will be easier to access, especially as bypasses are planned around the town of Taveta.

A stretch from Arusha towards Moshi will be turned into a dual carriage highway covering some 14 kilometers in order to further ease traffic in and out of Arusha towards the Kilimanjaro International Airport. Construction is expected to last approximately 3 years before the entire new highway is complete.


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