The expansion and rehabilitation of the road linking Arusha to the northern town of Namanga on the border with Kenya has run into delays partly due to what the contractor has described as the “deteriorating and intolerable” security conditions on worksites.
The Arusha Times reports that the China Geo-Engineering Corporation, which is building the road, has come under fire from the commissioning agency, Tanroads, for postponing the delivery of construction material due to delays. However the Chinese contractor has replied with a list of incidents involving the intimidation of staff and theft of materials and fuel, which it says have hindered operations.
This is not the first time that security has been an issue since work on the road got underway in September 2008. Just two months into the project the contractor reported the theft of important equipment and materials from special camps along the route.
The Arusha-Namanga road upgrade is part of a $165 million project to improve road connections between Tanzania’s tourist capital and Nairobi 240 km away. The stretch of road running from the Namanga border post to Athi River east of the Kenyan capital is also getting an overhaul. The project is being financed by a combination of Kenyan and Tanzanian government funds and loans from the African Development Bank and the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation.