Write to: The Editor, Arusha Times, P.O. Box 212, Arusha.
A bird's eye view of Jambo Makuti
Restaurant: An impending catastrophe?
Open letter to the Arusha Municipal Director
Dear Arusha Municipal Director,
I believe a picture is worth a thousand words - so I hereby attach one of a
"Disaster waiting to happen" in your city. The photo is taken from Precision Air
corridors in the New Safari Hotel depicting the roof of Jambo Makuti Restaurant
As you can see the roof is thatched with thoroughly 'aged' straw, and as if that
is not enough, it's topped with plastic sheeting, probably placed there to
contain leakages in the thatched roof. This structure is tightly tucked amidst
packed office and residential buildings.
Can you imagine what would happen if a loose spark from the kitchens below or
from a careless smoker, is blown to this roof? The loss of life and property
would be unimaginable. The blaze and smoke from the grass combined with the
burning, molten plastic falling down…
The icing on the cake are the power lines almost touching the roof. Of course
the power pole would come down with the roof and…
Please Arusha Municipal Director have this situation rectified immediately to
avert this impending man made catastrophe.
"BACK TO THE BUSINESS OF ROADS!!
A few weeks back, I had an opportunity to write a letter to the editor in this
esteemed paper of ARUSHA TIMES pleading for debate on not only how best to
keep the roads we have in a well maintained condition, but also how to keep
increasing the length of roads of Arusha in an acceptable level of service.
I made reference to the deplorable condition of our roads before the Urban
Road Project completed a few years ago that saw some 12km of municipal
roads rehabilitated (or was it reconstruction?). After completion of that
project, Arusha became alive again. We started being proud of Arusha again.
Of course a few things can be said about that project. Like, are we
convinced there was sufficient supervision of the contractor? Was the
quality of work the best we could get for our money? Did the contractor
perform appropriately? Some of us think not. Nevertheless, that is water
under the bridge. What I have been asking Arusha citizenry, leaders,
business owners, property owners and the others to discuss is only about
now and the future.
I said it previously and I am not worried to repeat it. All people in
Arusha appreciate what a good road does to their life. Business and other
property owners appreciate it even more only because they can discuss it in
terms of shillings and cents. I can dare say that even maize, cassava and
sweet potato roasters on the street appreciate good roads. It improves the
environment in which they work and they begin to get the well-to-do
customers and thereby increase their sales volumes and consequently profit
margins. I too can now without a blink of an eye, stop at Metropole and buy
roasted maize. I could not do that those days as by the time the maize was
adequately roasted it was all dusty. You ask taxi owners and drivers and
they will tell you what a good road does to their business. The hiace
owners and drivers too.
So what was I suggesting? I am saying that our leaders in Arusha had better
begin to device appropriate programmes for ensuring the good roads we have
remain good and for improving those additional ones that could not be
included in the urban roads programme. I am aware that the Municipal
leaders have a lot on their plate and under those circumstances one can
easily believe that â€śat least we have some good roads!â€ť I however believe
they have a responsibility to evaluate which improvement (or project) could
have the biggest benefit or impact to the life standard of the people of
Arusha. Which project would have the biggest impact to the economy of the
Municipal citizenry? That is the only way one can allocate the scarce
resources available. I believe, if such an analysis is done, improvement of
the road network will score quite highly. This is the main reason that all
elective leaders include the improvement of roads in their so called agenda
during campaign times. This is the understanding that forms the logic of my
suggestion two weeks ago.
For the benefit of new readers, my proposal was to get the necessary
approvals to establish a Road Improvement Trust Fund with funding obtained
from an initial injection by Central Government and Municipal Authority.
Additional funding would be obtained by a charging a levy (amount to be
discussed) on fuel. This means, the main users of roads pay for the
maintenance and improvement of roads. I must emphasize that this must be a
trust fund. I do not believe the citizens would be very comfortable with a
fund at and managed by the Municipal Council. A trust fund offers the
opportunity for it to be managed by eminent persons of high integrity and
with a high stake selected from the private and public sector. Of course
the Municipal Council should be an important stakeholder and would
therefore be represented.
I am pleading to all readers of your esteemed paper to consider the
suggestion and debate it with their leaders and even with other readers. I
am asking those whose responsibility it is to keep the roads of Arusha in
good condition to debate the suggestion. I am sure they know more than I
do. This is in the interest of us all. Together we can do it."
L. W. Ndiwaita
ICAO ESAF Regional Office,
P. O. Box 46294,
Tel: 254 20 7622371
Fax: 254 20 7623028/7621092