Kidatu-Ifakara Road and Ruaha Bridge Completion Nears, Will Boost Agriculture in the SAGCOT Area team

The Deputy Minister of Works, Eng. Godfrey Kasekenya, has urged Reynolds Construction Company (RCC), the contractor tasked with constructing the 66.9 km Kidatu-Ifakara road and the 133-meter Ruaha bridge, to ensure timely completion of both projects.

These infrastructures are of paramount importance as they lie within the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT), a region designated for accelerated agricultural development. Infrastructure development has been one of the crucial drivers of growth and efficiency in agriculture development for the SAGCOT initiative.

The completion of these projects will bridge the gap between the Kilosa and Kilombero districts in the Morogoro region, promising to unlock the economic potential of the residents of Morogoro, Njombe, Iringa, and Ruvuma. The area is known for its substantial production of food and commercial crops, making these infrastructural improvements critical for enhancing agricultural productivity and market access.

“Given that this construction faces no financial challenges, it is crucial that the work is completed on time so that citizens can benefit from this significant government investment,” stated Eng. Kasekenya. The road should be ready before the close of the first quarter of 2024.

He highlighted the necessity for the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) and the contractor to collaborate closely to ensure that vital road safety signs are installed as soon as possible. This collaboration aims to prevent accidents and ensure that cargo vehicles using the road adhere to weight restrictions, safeguarding the infrastructure’s longevity and efficiency.

The Morogoro Regional Manager for TANROADS, Hon. Alinanuswe Kyamba, assured the Deputy Minister of their commitment to supervising the contractor rigorously, ensuring work continues both day and night to meet the established deadlines.

Dastan Kyobya, the District Commissioner of Kilombero, underscored the economic opportunities that the completion of the Ruaha Main Bridge and the road would bring to the district’s residents. He commended TANROADS for their effective supervision and community engagement throughout the project’s development.

Further emphasizing the government’s commitment to infrastructural development, Deputy Minister Kasekenya inspected the ongoing construction of the Mikumi-Kilosa to Dumila road. He called upon the contractor, Umoja JV, tasked with the Rudewa-Kilosa 22.5 km section, to complete three key bridges in Kilosa town to facilitate the project’s overall success and maximize community benefits.

Throughout his official tour in Morogoro, Eng. Kasekenya inspected the progress of road and bridge constructions, stressing the importance of adherence to traffic laws to protect and prolong the lifespan of this vital infrastructure.

Importance for Agricultural Development in SAGCOT Area:

The Kidatu-Ifakara Road and Ruaha Bridge are crucial for the SAGCOT initiative, aimed at transforming agriculture in Tanzania’s southern corridor. By improving infrastructure, these projects enhance access to markets for agricultural products, reduce transportation costs, and facilitate the movement of goods and services. This not only boosts agricultural productivity but also attracts investment in the region, contributing to economic growth, food security, and poverty reduction. The successful completion of these projects signifies a leap forward in realizing the potential of the SAGCOT area as a key agricultural hub in Tanzania.

On July 28, 2017, the government of Tanzania hosted a contract signing ceremony for the upgrading of the Kidatu – Ifakara road to bitumen standard. The contract, valued at TSH 101 billion, was signed between then Ms. Amina Shaaban, the Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance and Planning, and the Contractor, M/s Reynolds Construction Company.

The project, jointly funded by UKAid, the EU, and USAID, aims to upgrade a 67 km section of road and the Great Ruaha Bridge. This initiative supports the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor in Tanzania (SAGCOT) initiative, aiming to improve access to markets for farmers in the Kilombero valley, stimulate investment in agriculture, and reduce poverty. Representatives from the EU, UKAid, and USAID expressed their support for Tanzania’s transport sector and commitment to improving market access for agricultural products. The project is expected to complement government efforts to enhance agricultural production and improve accessibility along the Mikumi – Kidatu – Ifakara – Mahenge/ Lupilo – Malinyi – Londo – Lumecha (Songea) road.

The Great Ruaha Bridge over the Great Ruaha River is a part of the upgrading Mikumi – Ifakara Road to Bitumen standard major project.

The 132.7 length Bridge has three spans with a symmetric steel girders structure and consists of a mid-span of 50.9 meters long and two end spans of 40.9 meters long each.