According to a recent public announcement, plans are currently being made to open a new Tanzania roads network in the remote villages and tourist sites in the Arusha region as well as to upgrade the existing roads system in the surrounding areas.
The major road improvement project that is currently underway in the Arusha region is the construction of the 110km road between Arusha and Namanga.
This project falls under the East African Road Network Project, which is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
According to the AfDB President, Dr Donald Kaberuka, in an interview with the Guardian Newspaper in May, he Arusha-Namanga-Athi River road project was intended to link central Tanzania with neighboring Kenya in a joint project that would ultimately promote regional integration and trade
“The transport sector is one area where the Bank has made significant interventions,” said Mr. Kaberuka to the Guardian, “in the belief that the sector will open up the country and fast-track economic growth as well as enhance regional integration.”
In a recent report by the Arusha Times, the regional manager for the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS), Deudedith Kakoko, said that the roads in the districts of Longido, Ngorongoro, Karatu and Arumeru are the primary targets for upgrades to their respective road networks.
According to Mr. Kakoko, a request has been made to tarmac the 70 kilometer road that runs between Namanga and Olmolog, which would allow easier access to tourism in the remote border areas and in West Kilimanjaro.
Currently, the roads in these areas are not easy accessible either during the rainy or during the dry season.
Because of this, the improvements such as the addition of tarmac are necessary in order to help make some of the previously inaccessible areas more easily reached, thus further promoting the main economic activity of the area, tourism.
The ultimate goal for this improvement project is for this new road to meet up with the existing road that is currently being paved around Mt. Kilimanjaro from Kamwanga to Marangu.
Additional structural improvements have also been planned for the road that links Longido to the Oldonyo Lengai volcanic mountain in the Ngorongoro district via Kitumbeini as well as for the Karatu-Mang’ola-Matala road in the Lake Eyasi basin.
According to Mr. Kakoko, the completion of this project will not only open up Lake Natron and Lake Eyasi to further investments in tourism, but it will also make social services more available to the people living in the area.