TANZANIA has secured a $US 200m loan from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) for the second phase of the Tanzania Intermodal Rail and Development Plan (TIRP-2).

The money will finance safety, climate resilience and operational efficiency improvements to the 970km Dar es Salaam - Isaka metre-gauge line.

In particular, it will fund climate resilience measures for the Kilosa - Gulwe - Igandu section of the line, providing operational and institutional support, including emergency response procedures.

IDA says that in addition to 900,000 direct beneficiaries, the project will indirectly have a positive impact on an estimated 3.5 million people, roughly 5% of Tanzania's population. This includes passengers and freight shippers, residents along the line, businesses involved in trade, and communities in the Kinywasungwe catchment area.

The new loan follows $US 270m lent by IDA for TIRP’s first phase which was completed in September 2022. Work included the rehabilitation of track and bridges, enabling axleloads to be increased from 13.9 tonnes to 18.5 tonnes on the 840km section between Dar es Salaam and Tabora, and the completion of designs to rehabilitate intermodal terminals at Dar es Salaam port, Ilala, and Isaka. TIRP-1 also included acquisition of additional rolling stock and contributed to the development of economic and safety regulations for open-access operations.

“The new project will invest in climate-informed infrastructure, adapting the corridor to natural disasters and mainstreaming climate resilience,” says Mr Yonas Mchomvu, senior transport specialist at the World Bank.

The investment in Tanzania’s metre-gauge network complements the ongoing development of the country’s Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project, the first two phases of which are nearly complete between Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Makutupora.

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