Improving Rural Access Tanzania

Bridge in rural Tanzania

Cardno helped build a better, climate-resistant road network that secured a pathway to a brighter future for the rural Tanzanians, powering the country’s agricultural sector.

Cardno worked on behalf of the Department for International Development (DFID) to help deliver the Improving Rural Access Tanzania (IRAT) – a large-scale programme fostering sustainable economic growth in Tanzania.

IRAT’s aims were to raise rural incomes and increase access to financial services, specifically through the design and improvement of rural roads in Tanzania. The programme was a component of DFID’s £36.4 million support for the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor.

Repairing and improving rural roads and providing access to markets and basic services is critical to enhancing agricultural development. This work included improving bottlenecks on the rural road network by raising embankments for roads that flood, building culverts, drifts and bridges, and providing running strips for steep gradients.

The Cardno team worked locally to provide technical assistance to IRAT to improve value for money across the programme, in the following areas:

  • economy – bringing an expert project management approach to meet budget
  • efficiency – applying strategic planning, procurement and contract management
  • effectiveness – closely monitoring development outcomes and impacts.

In 2016 an additional £10.4 million of International Climate Funds was approved for IRAT. Approximately £10 million was spent on capital works to support villages impacted by extreme weather events, while the remainder will be used to investigate how the road network can be made more climate resilient.

Despite the challenges of weather, terrain and project complexity, our professional approach to project management ensured we delivered works on time, to budget and to specification. With Cardno’s support, the programme recorded a number of key outcomes:

  • restored access to rural communities by opening roads with a cumulative total length of 1,232km
  • recorded zero weather-related incidents/wash outs of bottleneck improvements
  • trained 168 districts in the use of the District Road Management System (DROMAS)
  • improved tender, contract and project management by district engineers
  • established a baseline for impact evaluation and initiated a mid-term evaluation.