Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal

Vice-President, Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal

The ceremony to launch the project was held at Zaire Township of Mirerani, in Simanjiro District, Manyara Region and attended by thousands of residents of Arusha, Kilimanjaro and Manyara.

Minister for Works, Dr John Magufuli told Mirerani residents that the new road being built to tarmac level will be completed before December 2016 and that after the first phase, the government will continue with the second phase to link Mirerani Township with Simanjiro District Headquarters at Orkesumet and this will be 42km.

The Chief Executive for Tanzania National Roads Network (TANROADS), Engineer Patrick Mfugale, said the road project scheduled to take 17 months, will cost 33.2bn/- fully funded by the Government.

The KIA-Mirerani Road project mapping 26km had stalled for a while due to the fact that the previous contractor who was undertaking the project to build the highway had his contract terminated due to shoddy performances.

The road which connects the Tanzanite mining hills to Kilimanjaro Airport junction was initially being executed by Ms STRADA International of the United Kingdom (UK) whose performance left a lot to be desired, prompting TANROADS to revoke the tender.

The Contractor, Ms STRADA International of United Kingdom, was supposed to have accomplished twenty- five per cent of the 26km of the road which starts from the section in Arusha to Simanjiro in Manyara Region by January last year (2014) but until then nothing had been done.

Eleven out of the 26km lie within Arusha Region while the remaining 15km are mapped in Manyara. The Mirerani hills where Tanzanite Gemstones are mined are located in Simanjiro District.

The Project is now being executed by Chinese Company under the supervision of LEA International of Canada in association with DOCH Tanzania.

The contractor has already mobilized resources and equipment and bulldozers are roaring across the escarpments.

The project also includes building six bus stops, five bridges, road signs and extended walkway aprons alongside the entire highway. Dr Bilal said the road will transform the Mirerani Township for the better. ?This is a very important economic zone for the country and needs reliable transport infrastructure,? he said.

By MARC NKWAME, Tanzania Daily News

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