Jamani, mbona ni habari ya kusikitisha! Baadhi ya madaraja kwenye njia ya reli ya Central zimechukuliwa na maji. Na ni bahati hakuna treni iliyozolewa na maji hayo! Wadau wanaojua Central Line, wanajua sehemu zilizotajwa kwenye story. Lakini jamani, mbona Central Line ni ile ile ya Mjerumani aliyojenga 1908! Waikarabati jamani, na tena waongeze track nyingine!
Central Railway Rervices Off Till April
7th January 2010
Mkondoa River section of Central Railway in Kilosa District, Morogoro Region, whose destruction by flood waters has led to three-month suspension of passenger and cargo transportation.
The government has announced the immediate suspension – for three months – of Central Railway passenger and cargo services.
Omar Chambo, permanent secretary in the Infrastructure Development ministry, said yesterday the move was meant to pave the way for massive repairs on a section of the crucial line recently damaged by floods that also swept away bridges in Kilosa District, Morogoro Region.
Addressing journalists at Kilosa, where he was for a post-flooding road inspection tour, the PS said it was not yet established how much the repair work would cost “but the government has already set aside 4bn/- for the replacement of the damaged main bridge across Mkondoa River”.
“As I speak, the (railway) section between Munisagara station in Kilosa District and Gulwe in Dodoma is impassable, with several bridges destroyed. The repair work will take at least three months,” he said.
Chambo explained that it was still raining “extremely heavily” in Dodoma Region and the draining of the raging waters into Mkondoa River was impeding plans to begin the repair works.
Elaborating on the extent of the havoc caused by the floods and gravity of the task ahead of the repair team, he said Kimamba and its environs were the worst hit areas “where flood waters can still be seen raging across the road”.
It is understood that the immediate replacement of several culverts and four small bridges is a must for the situation to improve. Kilosa is situated some 300km west of Dar es Salaam and has been especially vulnerable to floods in the recent past, which has led to the termination of the train services.
“We have lined up a team of engineers from the ministry to work closely with their counterparts from Tanzania Railway Limited, (TRL) to make sure that the problem is fully addressed to ease convenience to the people,” PS Chambo pointed out.
He said the pace of the repair work would largely depend on the duration and intensity of the ongoing rains and could be slower than planned “if the floods run on”.
“Our ambition is to restore services as soon as possible. We understand how important the central railway is, especially for members of the business community and the larger public in Dodoma, Kigoma, Morogoro, Mwanza, Shinyanga, Singida and Tabora regions,” he added.
Meanwhile, the government has also announced temporary arrangements under which passenger and cargo trains will now start from Dodoma instead of Dar es Salaam until the damaged section of the central railway is repaired.
Torrential rains that have pounded Kilosa District in the last three weeks have rendered thousands of people homeless and in urgent need of relief supplies such as food, shelter and drinking water.
Medical practitioners have been working around the clock to help prevent outbreaks of waterborne diseases like cholera and dysentery.
The announcement comes barely a week since TRL cancelled all central railway passenger services after rains led to severe flooding in Dodoma and nearby regions.
Over 1,000 passengers travelling from Kigoma and Mwanza to Dar es Salaam were stranded at the Dodoma central railway station before proceeding with their journey by bus.
TRL public relations officer Midladj Maez was recently quoted as saying all train services would remain cancelled until the situation was back to normal.
“Following the ongoing rains in regions which our railway traverses, especially the Godegode and Mzaganza sections, trains scheduled to leave Dar es Salaam yesterday and Friday have been cancelled,” he said.
All passengers booked on the trains were refunded their money at the TRL offices where they had bought tickets.
Torrential rains began falling in Tanzania in earnest on Boxing Day but were confined to the north-eastern highlands, the eastern half of Dodoma, parts of Morogoro Region, the western highlands and the southern regions.
However, they have since spread and caused several deaths and massive destruction to houses and infrastructure generally in different parts of the country.
The Tanzania Meteorological Agency on Monday warned of the likelihood of worse flooding to come, continuing until March.