MPs blame shortage of council engineers for poor roads

By Francis Kajubi , The Guardian
Published at 10:34 AM Apr 18 2024
The National Assembly of Tanzania
Photo: File
The National Assembly of Tanzania

LAWMAKERS have blamed shortage of road engineers in many district councils for poor implementation of projects, leading to short-lived infrastructure.

They have called for the central government to urgently facilitate the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) to initiate an emergency recruitment plan for construction experts.

Debating President’s Office budget estimates of 10.125trn/- tabled in the National Assembly on Tuesday, legislators called upon the central government to come up with a well fixed budget for recruitment of enough road engineers by the Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (Tarura) apart from enough budget allocation for road projects.

In her contribution, Aida Kenan, Northern Nkasi MP, said that Tarura has a deficit of 849 experts, including road engineers.

“Tarura should be allocated enough funds for recruitment of engineers apart from road project funds; its failure in observing its duties means the failure of the President’s Office which is its main custodian,” she said.

Idd Kassim Idd, Msalala MP, argued that the area needs at least three Tarura managers but there is only one who serves 58 wards.

Ushetu MP Emmanuel Cherehani said that in his district there are 20 wards, 112 villages and 560 hamlets but there is only one Tarura manager who serves  three constituencies namely Ushetu, Msalala and Kahama hence poses inefficiency in regulating implementation of road projects.

Kirumbe Ng’enda, Kigoma Urban MP, said that in his region there are two municipal councils namely Kigoma Ujiji and Kigoma District which are collectively served by one Tarura manager.

“The shortage of Tarura officials in district councils even makes project implementation harder apart from funds shortage,” he said.

Selemani Kakoso, Mpanda Rural MP, said that 1,160 kilometers of dirt road network in Tanganyika District is under Tarura’s custody and is currently badly affected by ongoing rains, calling for emergency rehabilitation.

Margaret Sitta, Urambo MP, called on the central government to double Tarura’s budget for it to smoothly execute roads projects.

Tabling the ministry’s budget on Tuesday, Minister for State in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) Mohamed Mchengerwa, said 841.19bn/- has been allocated in the 2024/25 financial year for construction and rehabilitation of dirt and tarmac roads in urban and rural area.