Tanzania: New bridge upgrades Kigamboni

Dar es Salaam is the largest city in eastern Africa in terms of population and an ever growing important economic hub.

However, while the city is expanding fast, a few investors now have their eyes on Kigamboni, which was for many years ago, not regarded as better place to invest let alone living.

The notion protruded from the fact that the area is now connected to the Dar es Salaam Business District when crossing a creek by means of a pontoon thus scaring some while complicate others movements.

The coming of almost a kilometre long bridge across the ocean has changed the area’s negative perception and turned Kigamboni a blue diamond of Tanzania.

On top of that in the next two to three years, Kigamboni is set to become a best place to live in the country, in terms of social and private amenities, and be one of the best planned settlements. The area, according to various studies, rests on unpolluted beaches.

The beaches are acting as a magnet to woo residents and real estate developers — who provide sufficient infrastructure for better quality of life.

On the other hand, Kigamboni is being transformed as a core for developing new land demands of Dar es Salaam, such as residential, commercial, trade and business, industrial, educational, and tourism facilities.

The estate developers have committed billions of shillings in construction and some properties have been completed while tenants have moved in.

Among the estate developers are NSSF with about 1,000 houses at Mtoni Kijichi and 7,000 units in Dege eco-Village.

The largest pension fund, developed affordable houses at Mtoni Kijichi in Temeke and recently presented a report on the progress of the project involving building of 290 units of phase one and two worth some 21bn/-.

The houses have been sold out. The project is on its third phase where 820 units are under construction at a costs of 137.77bn/-. The Dege eco-Village where NSSF and Azimio Housing Estate are in the middle of construction a township that will redefine Dar es Salaam at a cost of 544.5million US dollars (about 980bn/-) to be completed in 2017.

China’s Avic International is developing an Avic Town located in Somangira Kigamboni. The land of 583 acres will be developed in five phases. Avic Town, one of spectacular are 28 kilometres from CBD, initiating zone under construction is to realize the presale of 158 sets of villas and bungalows before next month, which will be handed over in the first half year of 2016.

National Housing Corporation (NHC) has already sold out a total of 214 houses at Kigamboni about 17 kilometres from CBD. NHC has spent a total of 10bn/- on construction of the houses.

Watumishi Housing Company, under Public Service Pension Fund (PSPF) also has some investment in the area. The area will not only change the landscape of Kigamboni but also boost the municipal tax revenue mainly through property taxes.

But the biggest challenge whether the houses affordable to many? This is a million dollar question as a teacher or a police officer cannot afford to buy what-is-called-affordable house at 50m/-, even if the mortgage spreads to 20 years.

Minister of State (Investments and Empowerment) Eng Christopher Chiza hints that affordable houses are the way forward of empowering citizens by giving them quality houses but the costs are not as high as others think.

“The challenge of lowering house prices should be taken into consideration by all parties including discussion of removing or lowering VAT,” Mr Chiza said.

The construction of multibillion shilling Kigamboni Bridge has been pushed back to six months until the end of December due to technical snags.

However, the government is pushing stakeholders behind the bridge construction to complete the job between August and September as further delay continue to complicate life of people in Kigamboni and its vicinity.

The construction of 240bn/- bridge was scheduled to be completed in June but contractors were hit by fresh challenges when erecting pillar number one of the two main pillars of the bridge. The construction has passed 75 per cent mark.
Source: Daily News, reported by Abduel Elinaza, from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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