By New Times
A bridge on the Morogoro-Dodoma highway near Dumila in Tanzania, which collapsed on Monday, March 2 due to heavy rain, is likely to cause delays in the transportation of Rwanda’s goods, according to local traders.
The rain-damaged road is the only route for goods coming to Rwanda from Dar es Salaam port.
Fred Seka, the President of the Federation of East Africa Freight Forwarders told The New Times that delays to repair the road will trigger business losses.
“This is the only route that traders use from Dar es Salaam, it’s the only alternative. The other alternative is Mombasa on the Kenyan side,” he said.
According to Seka, the impact could be felt by those who import goods through Dar es Salaam port and those who transit their goods through Rwanda, especially the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) businesses.
Dar es Salaam Port handles 85 per cent of the goods that are shipped to and from Rwanda by road. According to Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), Rwanda customs officials handle 280 cargo trucks on the Central Corridor every day.
“That could also cause congestion at the (Dar es Salaam) port and increase the storage costs, thus delaying delivery of goods to the local market,” he noted.
Seka said they contacted their Tanzanian counterparts who have “promised to fix the road in three or four days” and that a team of Rwandans went to Tanzania to follow up so that the process is expedited.
Mwananchi, a Tanzanian news outlet, reported on Tuesday, March 3, that the works to repair the bridge had begun, although it did not specify when the works on the rain-caused ditch will be completed.