Monday, October 6, 2014
Building materials at DART bus stands are prone to vandalism
As the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project in the country’s commercial city of Dar es Salaam is about to kick off, the infrastructures installed at the newly constructed bus stand facilities for the project along Morogoro Road in the city are prone to vandalism, the survey by the Guardian can establish. A one week survey carried out in some structures along the road has shown that, most of them have been invaded by some youths who have turned them to be their most dwelling places throughout the day taking on siestas and at the same time the facilities provides accommodation for them during night hours. A spot check on Wednesday night this week, found scores of youths who when interviewed claimed to have no homes or rooms in vicinity of the city suburbs and instead have resorted to seek for accommodation in these bus stand structures. This reporter witnessed some broadsheet pieces of boxes torn in parts and spread on the floor used as appropriate beddings for the seemingly life frustrated youths who are homeless in the city of Dar es Salaam. However, the Guardian has discovered that their presence is posing danger of vandalism to some building materials made up of iron, others like wire mesh, water sinks and many if available in these newly constructed State-of-the-art facilities. Some interviewed youths who spoke without knowing were speaking to a news reporter said that, have no enough money to hire a room in the suburb as they are engaged in petty trading activities of some goods at the city centre notably at Kariakoo business hub which gives them minimal profit margin. While some noted that, have moved from Kariakoo area where they used to accommodate themselves in narrow corridors and some on the verandas of big shops, and after having faced with such difficulties have actually appreciated for the large open spaces at these bus stands whose areas are enough to accommodate over 400 people at a time.
“I am a Machinga at Kariakoo main business centre and my earnings are too little that I cannot afford the monthly costs of renting a room in the city’s suburbs, so have found this area is more convenient for the time being” said one youth who could not want to identify himself. Contacted for comments, a spokesperson of the construction company, Strabag Ltd Yahya Mkumba said that, there are a number of cases related to vandalism have already been reported and the police are on the lookout for offenders. He told the Guardian in a telephone interview on Thursday this week that, these cases are related to the missing of some wire mesh, iron water pipes and some other iron made materials from two bus stands which they have handed over to Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS). However, he said adding that, police at Magomeni police station are investigating the issue to help net the culprits. However, he noted that, the company is in place to put a fence to beef up security in some bus stands which are still under construction and yet to be handed over, the move is in a bid to suppress intrusion by unauthorized persons. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS) Patrick Mfugale said in a telephone interview when contacted for comments over the matter and said that the primary role of the TANROADS was to ensure that, bus stand structures are constructed. However, he continued and said that, for the case of impending vandalism, he directed this reporter to contact the DART officials to get clarification over the matter and switched on his mobile phone. Efforts to contact the Dar es Salaam Rapid Transport (DART) officials hit a snag for when their landline telephone answered the call, the receiver noted that the officials concerned were not present at that time.