Tanzania spends US $1bn for Arusha-Musoma SGR project

Tanzania has used a total of US$1 billion of the US$2
billion budget for the Tanzania SGR project otherwise known as the Dar es
Salaam-Morogoro-Dodoma-Singida Standard Gauge Railway project.

Director-General of the Tanzania Railways Corporation, Mr
Masanja Kadogosa said at a media briefing, that they have achieved a lot under
the President’s, John Magufuli, leadership over the past four years.

He expects that by April next year, the first section of the
SGR project from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro will have been finalised because
they have already accomplished 72 per cent and have finished over 22 per cent
of the Dodoma-Singida section.

Most of the groundworks for the multi-billion dollar
Tanzania SGR project have been completed such as the electrifications,
calverting, earthwork and bridges by over 80 per cent.

Problems facing the
project

Previously, they had failed to meet the November deadline
for the first phase of the 300km-long SGR railway from Dar es Salaam to
Morogoro due to the short rains slowed laying of the tracks on concrete
sleepers along the line in November. The rains also paralysed drilling works at
a hill where a tunnel needs to pass through as well as the building of bridges,
which have to be constructed in dry weather.

The contractors for the project are, Turkish firm Yapi
Merkezi in partnership with Portuguese firm Mota-Engil Africa who have
completed a stretch of 210 kilometres and are finalising works on the main
stations.

This first phase has six main stations at Dar es Salaam,
Pugu, Soga, Ruvu, Ngerengere and finally Morogoro. The Dar es Salaam and
Morogoro stations will be the biggest.

Overall, Tanzania SGR project will cover 1,457kms from Dar
es Salaam to the shores of Lake Victoria and will cost $7.5 billion over the
next five years.

The Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) plans to procure
1,430 cargo wagons and 20 locomotives for the line that will be serving the
neighbouring countries of Uganda, Zambia, DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi.