The long-awaited Chake Chake-Wete road construction project is expected to begin soon following the Dar es Salaam-based Mwananchi Engineering and Contracting Company Limited (MECCO) wining the tender for the construction work.
The twenty-two-kilometer road connecting the Wete town and the busy Chacke Chake commecial town is a strategic project for the sister Island of Pemba.
The project worth Sh23billion will reopen trade between the two towns and simplify transport and logistic services that have for decades been hampered due to poor road conditions.
The construction will start at Meli Tano through Ziwani to Wete which is one of the fastest growing commercial towns on the island.
During his recent four-day working visit in Pemba, the President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, Dr. Hussein Mwinyi said that the construction work would take off soon.
The project will boost economic activities and create employment opportunities along the areas of implementation by boosting the economic status of the villages and towns falling within the project.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Construction, Communications and Transport, Amour Halim Bakar told the Zanzibar Mail that the project would substantially reduce the travel time between the two towns.
“Overall improvement is expected in terms of better connectivity, economic and social services, faster growth and outreach to better and improved facilities; fast and safe connectivity resulting in savings in fuel, travel time and total transportation costs,” he said.
He added the project is in line with the Zanzibar 2050 Development Vision to have a world-class, well maintained and expanding road network connecting the urban and rural areas.
Pemba South Regional Commissioner, Mattar Zahor Massoud, called on the people to co-operate with the construction company to carry out its work effectively.
He urged institutions with infrastructures in the project area to remove them so that construction work does not block access to basic social services like water and electricity.
MECCO Managing Director, Abdulkadir Mohammed said the company was ready to complete the project on time and called on the government to expedite compensation to citizens.
In 2012, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Arab Bank for African Development (BADEA) signed a loan agreement of Sh15 billion for the project.
The agreement was signed by the former Minister of Finance, the late Dr. William Mgimwa and the former BADEA’s Director-General, Abdelaziz Khelef but the project did not materialise.
In 2014, the Zanzibar government said it would sign a $10 million soft loan agreement between the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Saudi Fund for the project but the efforts did not yield fruits.
The project which was listed among the 12 union vexes was resolved during the last month joint session between the Zanzibar and Union governments.