THE Government has launched a manual for low volume roads (LVR 2016) to cater for the design of new or upgrading of existing unpaved roads with a capacity of not more than 300 vehicles a day in a move to significantly reduce construction costs.
Speaking at the launching ceremony in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Works, Transport and Communications, Eng Joseph Nyamuhanga, said the manual would improve the rural transport sector for such roads exist in the areas.
"This is a major milestone in improving the transport sector as it will facilitate a significant cost savings by as much as 50 percent," said Eng Nyamuhanga. The PS pointed out that the rural transport sector in Tanzania would be achieved through cost effective and sustainable provision of rural roads that would serve a few but necessary vehicles using them.
He noted that the Ministry was responsible for managing a road network of 35,000 Km countrywide whereas 108,000 roads situated in the districts, villages and community were under the Local Government and Regional Administration.
"The manual is also meant to address the gaps which have not been covered in the technical construction documents prepared by the ministry," he noted. He, however, commended the African Community Access Partnership (AFCAP) in partnership with the President's Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) for preparing the document through the funding of UK AID.
The Regional and Technical Manager for East and Southern Africa at AFCAP, Mr Nkululeko Leta, said improving rural infrastructure was vital for enhancing the socio-economic development of Tanzania. "Rural infrastructure will help connect rural communities to basic services such as education, health and markets throughout the year," said Mr Leta.
He noted that the manual would serve as a standard reference and ready source of good practice and is based on current and recommended practice and research, both emanating from the African Region and Internationally.
"The manual specifically promotes the use of locally available resources in an environmental optimization, it is expected to lead to significant cost savings compared to conventional approaches," he said. Mr Leta went on to say that extensive process of consultations, to which many roads sector stakeholders have contributed their time, knowledge and effort taking into considerations the needs of all road users, including nonmotorized transport.
The Director of Roads in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications, Eng Ven Ndyamukama, said existing manuals at the ministry included those of main roads of which if employed to low volume roads, huge costs are incurred.