THE 216 kilometers road project from Mpanda to Tabora which is nearing completion has given a sigh of relief to citizens, traders and farmers in the western regions, who used to travel long distances on rough roads for decades.
The 216 kms road project whose construction works has reached 99 per cent is a road link between the residents from Katavi, Rukwa, Kigoma and Tabora region.
Equally, the project has eased movements of people, goods and services to and from Katavi, Rukwa, Kigoma and, Tabora, transportation regions.
The Katavi Region Tanroads Manager, Eng Martin Mwakabende told the Daily News here yesterday that when the Katavi was established more than decade ago, it had only 1.9 kilometers roads constructed at tarmac level.
Detailing, Eng Mwakabende further noted that the initial cost for the construction of the project was estimated to over 500bn/- but the amount spent is 432.2bn/- "The remaining fund to the tune of 170bn/- the Tanroads Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will divert it to' the construction of another road project "noted Eng Mwakabende.
Equally, Eng Mwakabende said the construction of the 216 kilometers - road project went simultaneously with the rehabilitation of Koga bridge measuring 120 meters, bordering Katavi and Tabora regions.
"During those dark years the road stretching from Mpanda -Inyonga - Tabora road could close for almost six months from January each year due to overflowing of water at the then depilated Koga Bridge. "Worse still citizens from Katavi Region were compelled to use long distance traveling transporting goods and serviced via Kigoma to Tabora covering more than 300 kms compared to now that the distance has been shortened to 216 kms" he added.
Reached for comment, the Katavi Regional Commissioner Ms Mwanamvua Mrindoko said the completion of both road and Koga bridge projects serve as economic and social gateway for the citizens in the region.
Scores of passenger bus drivers and truck drivers separately confided that riding on rough road stretching from Mpanda- Unyonga-Tabora in those days was like hell in earth.
"Sincerely speaking we remain thankful to the government for improving transport infrastructures, including 216 kilometers carriageway and Koga bridge as it also helps us improve our incomes," noted Mr Jacob Mwita, a truck driver.