Tanzania Rail Corporation’s Project Manager, Engineer Machibya Masanja said he is remains confident that Turkish contractor, Yepi Markez will finish off the remaining part of phase one of the project on schedule.
“Everything is going on well and on schedule,” Eng Masanja told representatives of stakeholders who included public entities, civil society organizations and development partners mid this week in Dar es Salaam.
He said the second phase of the project which covers Morogoro and Dodoma regions is also on schedule and is 34.12 percent completed. According to him construction of the Dar es Salaam to Morogoro stretch consumed four million cement bags while the second phase will utilize six million bags.
“About 1.2 million slippers will be produced for the project whereby one slipper is made of 118 kilograms of cement,” the TRC Project Manager added noting that the mega project has also provided employment to 13,369 directly.
The mega project which is financed by domestic revenue sources has paid over 30.33bn/- in salaries which U$873million has been paid to suppliers of goods and services. “Completion of the SGR project will reduce cargo transportation costs by 40 percent compared to trucks,” Eng Masanja noted.
On rehabilitation of the old central meter gauge railway which stretches between Dar es Salaam and Mwanza with branches to Kigoma and Tabora, the Project Manager said TRC has saved over 300bn/- that would be spend on construction of bypass roads to facilitate construction of the SGR.
“The rehabilitation covered 970 kilometers of most troubled areas, construction of new 370 bridges and replacement of new meter gauge railway covering 350 kilometers. The rehabilitation is complete by 91 percent,” he stated.
He challenged local contractors and construction materials manufacturers grab the opportunity of the mega project to make money and gain expertise. Among challenges facing the project’s implementation include public resistance to cede land.
To ensure that the public along the SGR line get benefits from the project, TRC signed a memorandum of understanding with public institutions such Tanzania Social Action Fund, financial institutions and civil society organizations to provide support under a livelihood restoration program.
The program targets to offer incentives to ordinary people along the railway so that they feel part of the success story but also eradicate poverty among them.
Other institutions that were represented at the MoU signing were: Small Industries Development Organization, Women Fund, Vocational Education and Training Authority, Tanzania Women Lawyers Association and University of Dar es Salaam.
“All institutions will play their part in making sure that residents along the project see benefit during and after construction work. They will be empowered according to their priorities such as financial assistance, human rights sensitization, vocational skills training and entrepreneurship,” said TRC Human Resource Manager, Amina Lumuli who is also assistant Director General of the state rail company.