Consult before upcountry journeys, motorists told

25Mar 2020
Polycarp Machira
Dodoma
The Guardian
Consult before upcountry journeys, motorists told

​​​​​​​MOTORISTS, especially those on long distances upcountry trips, need to consult with district or regional road authorities beforehand to ascertain the state of the roads since many have been damaged and bridges swept away by heavy rains.

Minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Isaac Kamwelwe.

The minister for Works, Transport and Communications, Isaac Kamwelwe, made this appeal yesterday, pointing out many areas are damaged on the national road network.

Contractors and other road users, especially those who move equipment to different places in the country, should consult district managers of the Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA) or regional managers of the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) to be sure of the state of roads.

Contractors at the Nyerere Hydropower Project in Rufiji  was from last week stranded with equipment as the road to the site was deep in mud, he said.

There are three routes leading to the hydropower project, through Kibiti, Kepo and Miska, the latter being some 210 kilometres away.

Kamwelwe explained that the road at Kepo area is seriously damaged following flooding in the region, hindering motorists to use that road.

"The situation is completely unpredictable. I therefore urge motorists and those working on development projects to check with district and regional road agencies to know the state of the roads to avoid undue delays after embarking on their journeys," he cautioned.

Speaking at an event to mark the World Meteorology Day, he urged the public to take meteorological reports in depth to avoid damage, loss of property or death by unpreparedness.

Heavy rain has several times affected many parts of the country, blocking roads in various regions and destroying a vital bridge in Morogoro.

Media reports of closed roads in and around the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam buzzed early in the month, while some public transport services were suspended.

Heavy rain has also affected Mbeya and Mwanza regions, where some roads have been blocked and drivers left stranded.

A bridge on the key Morogoro-Dodoma highway collapsed on March 2 due to heavy rains. The slow pace of rehabilitating the bridge in Kilosa District of Morogoro Region irritated President John Magufuli when he made an impromptu visit there.

The Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA) warned that more torrential rains are expected, in particular in eastern areas of the country.

Heavy rain and flooding has over the last two months caused vast harm in some regions, with early February flooding in Lindi, Mwanza, Morogoro and Manyara regions left at least 40 people dead, 1,750 houses destroyed and 15,000 people displaced.