by Ben Taylor
Dar floods cause traffic chaos
Heavy rains in early April caused traffic chaos in Dar es Salaam, as major roads became impassable. At one point the city was entirely cut off from the rest of the country as Morogoro Road became submerged at Ruvu, Mapinga bridge on Bagamoyo Road was washed away, and Mzinga bridge linking Mbagala and Kongowe on Kilwa Road was dangerously damaged. The cost of emergency road and bridge repairs was estimated at TSh21bn.
Vice President Mohamed Bilal, Minister of Works John Magufuli, Dar Regional Police Commander Suleiman Kova, and Dar Regional Commissioner Saidi Meck Sadiki, had a lucky escape when they walked away unhurt from a helicopter crash at Dar International Airport. Their military helicopter crashed as it tried to take off on a flight intended to inspect the flood damage. The pilot and three journalists on board were also unhurt. An investigation into the accident was launched by the Tanzania People’s Defence Force. (Daily News, The Citizen)
Runway drama in Arusha
Ethiopian Airline flight ET815 from Addis Ababa to Kilimanjaro, a Boeing 767-300 with 223 people on board, made an unscheduled landing at Arusha Municipal Airport on 18 December 2013. The Arusha airfield is only 1,620m long, less than half the length of the runway at Kilimanjaro International Airport, and well below minimum length for a plane of this size.
The plane landed successfully, but became embedded in soft ground when attempting to turn around on the narrow runway. Passengers were stuck on the plane for several hours while steps were brought from Kilimanjaro to Arusha, as the smaller airport did not have facilities for a plane of this size.
The reasons for the error were the subject of dispute between Ethiopian Airways and Tanzanian air traffic control. It seems a miscommunication between the pilot and air traffic control led to the pilot mistakenly assuming that Arusha airport was in fact Kilimanjaro.
Ferry to link Dar and Bagamoyo
A new ferryboat has been purchased for TSh7.9bn to ply between Dar es Salaam city centre and Bagamoyo. It will start operation on delivery later this year. The new ferry, purchased from Denmark, will have the capacity to carry 600 persons. (Daily News)