Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The government to build rest houses for passengers

THE Government through the Ministry of Transport is planning to set up rest houses which would be built along the main roads countrywide. The houses would provide lavatory services to cater for the need of passengers traveling along. The move will be a permanent solution to a long standing problem which is facing passengers who takes long hours while on their safari, and once in need of helping themselves resort to enter in nearby bushes, a situation described as “Kuchimba dawa”. The call was made recently by the Deputy Minister for Transport Dr. Athuman Mfutakamba when being interviewed in a special report program aired by Independent Television (ITV). Dr. Mfutakamba was required to clarify what steps his ministry takes following a research carried by TV crews through the Dar-Iringa-Mbeya-Tunduma road which revealed that passengers on board in a long hour travel receives some difficulties when it comes to the need of helping themselves, and instead resort to go to the bush a situation which has been described to be environmentally unfriendly. The Deputy Minister said, his ministry would corporate with the Ministry of Works who undertakes the construction of upcountry roads and deliberate on the possible measures together with setting a special budget that would be discussed in the parliament during a parliamentary budget sessions for the coming financial year of 2011/2012.

A 65 seater bus traveling to Mwanza when it had stopped by the main road along Morogoro-Dodoma highway after one of its hind tires bust. Passengers sometimes use this opportunity to help themselves in nearby bushes before proceeding on. I took this photograph when traveling to Mwanza, the bus later on was caught by the traffic police on its arrival in Dodoma city when one passenger tipped off traffic police after discovering that almost all its tires were in bad condition.

bus On their deliberations, the assistant minister said that, the government would also look for donors to help by contributing to this project that aims not only to help the weary passengers, but also get away with the habit of polluting the environment which is caused by passengers who helps themselves in forests while traveling an aspect which has been described to be diminishing people’s dignity. The weary upcountry transport routes which takes longer hours for passengers to arrive to their final destination points are routes of Dar-Morogoro-Iringa-Mbeya and Tunduma in southern highland regions which covers about 1,200 kilometers and a bus transporter spends between 15 and 16 hours to arrive to the final destination. Another route is that one of Dar-Dodoma-Singida-Shinyanga-Mwanza in northern regions. The stretch of this road which passes through five regions has 1140 kilometers and transporters spends between 14 and 15 hours to arrive, and the last one is Dar-Korogwe-Moshi-Arusha which is a bit shorter and takes about 8 hours only to arrive. By considering the length of the journey, passengers must be getting tired and overcome such unavoidable circumstances of body relieving must occur, despite of the fact that, the Ministry of Transport has been receiving many complaints by transporters who wanted the government to find a permanent solution to their passengers who by no means have to help themselves in bushes. “It is high time now that the government should successfully build lavatories and make the selected areas become a hub of business” said Dr. Mfutakamba.

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