The government of Tanzania has received a sum of US $34.5m from Japan to finance construction of a 4.3km stretch of the new Bagamoyo road, phase II between Morocco and Mwenge junction.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr Dotto James, and Japanese Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Masaharu Yoshida, signed the exchange documents and grant agreement in Dar es Salaam.
According to Doto James, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance and Planning, the road will be widened to a four lane highway including enough space for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) phase 4.
Phase I is now operational along Morogoro Road, covers Kimara Mwisho, Kivukoni and Gerezani and a branch-off to Morocco along Rashid Kawawa Road. Phase II of the project is slated for Kilwa Road from Mbagala to the city centre while the third one will cover Nyerere Road from Gongo la Mboto to the city centre.
James further commented that, widening of the road is vital for alleviating traffic congestion in Dar es Salaam, as well as connecting Bagamoyo Port for the purpose of transporting goods and services within and around Dar es Salaam, and the rest of the country.
James also confirmed that the government of Japan has as well financed the detailed design to a tune of US $623, 891.
Funding other projects
He further explained that Japan has been financing a number of projects including US $44.3m for the upgrading of a 12.9km section between Mwenge junction and Tegeta junction to four lanes. Additionally, bridges at Mlalakuwa, Lugalo and Tegeta will be replaced.
Other projects financed by Japan include: construction of Tazara flyover, 188.15 km of the Dodoma-Babati road, 202.5 km of Tunduru-Mangaka-Mtambaswala road and 259.9 km of the Iringa-Dodoma road.
Japanese ambassador Masaharu Yoshida said the grant especially targets the area because it is one of the highly congested parts in the city. “Traffic jam is one of the challenges to address immediately here in Dar es Salaaam, which was home to around 4 million in 2012, but it will be home to 12 million come 2040,” he said.
Patrick Mfugale, CEO Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) confirmed that the government has received a soft loan from World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB) for the construction of phases I and II.
“We have finalized feasibility studies for both phase II and III of BRT and we are currently implementing the feasibility study for phase IV,” he added.
Upgrading the Mwenge-Morocco stretch will ease traffic congestion along New Bagamoyo Road and eventually accelerate development in the country’s commercial capital.