Zanzibar First Vice President Seif Sharif Hamad and the US Ambassador to Tanzania, Alfonso E. Lenhardt, Thursday witnessed the signing of a contract to upgrade 35 km of rural roads in Pemba Island, with support of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
Signed between representatives of the Millennium Challenge Account –Tanzania (MCA-Tanzania) and the winning firm, H. Young and Company (EA) Ltd, the US$ 23.8 million contract award was the result of a vigorous competition among several firms under an open public tender.
“This is a great day for the people of Pemba, of Zanzibar and indeed all Tanzanians. Improving these roads will literally link disparate communities with each other; it also will help them together to better connect with the rest of Pemba Island and the wider world”, said Lenhardt.
“Improved rural roads also mean better access to schools and hospitals for children and their parents and better access to markets for farmers, fishermen and businesses of every kind,” he added, noting that the contract represented the achievement of another major milestone in the American – Tanzania partnership.
The Pemba rural roads project is one of several projects underway as part of the Millennium Challenge Compact signed between the governments of the US and Tanzania in 2008.
In addition to the work on Pemba, MCC is supporting the laying of a new 100 Megawatt submarine power cable to Unguja (the bigger island of Zanzibar), to replace the existing, lower capacity cable that has suffered problems in the recent past.
Elsewhere on mainland Tanzania, MCC is also supporting the upgrade of more than 430 km of trunk roads as well as improvements in aviation and public safety facilities at Mafia island airport.