Tanzania: State to Upgrade Three Airstrips

PLANS are underway this financial year to construct and upgrade three airstrips in Sumbawanga, Shinyanga and Mtwara regions through a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Deputy Minister for Transport, Dr Charles Tizeba, also told the National Assembly on Wednesday that the government is conducting feasibility studies and designing for upgrading ten airstrips under the Transport Sector Support Programme (TSSP) which is funded by the World Bank.

The airstrips include Iringa, Njombe, Songea, Mtwara, Tanga, Kilwa Masoko in addition to Lindi, Musoma, Singida and Lake Manyara in Karatu district.

Responding to a basic question by Mbulu MP, Mr Mustafa Akunaay (Chadema), Dr Tizeba noted, however, that the government was not in a financial position to construct airstrips in all regions at once.

"The ministry will nevertheless heed to the advice by the Parliament on earmarking projects that the government will be able to implement in each respective financial year," the deputy minister remarked.

"As we speak there are some airports being upgraded in phases in Kigoma, Bukoba, Tabora, Mafia, Songwe and Mwanza," he added.

In his question, Mr Akunaay tasked the government to fulfil a pledge it made in 2003 on construction of an airstrip in Manyara at Mugugu area to serve residents of Babati, Mbulu and Katesh.

He based his question on the Transport Policy of 2003 which requires that every region should have an airstrip which can handle aircrafts with a capacity of carrying 70 passengers. In response, Dr Tizeba admitted that the government made the pledge in 2003 to construct a new airstrip in the area, noting that the ministry had advised regional authorities in Manyara to prepare a town plan drawing on a site for the proposed airstrip.

After the drawing, the authorities should submit it to the Regional Consultative Committee for approval, according to Deputy Minister Tizeba.

Source : allafrica.com

Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001

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