The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) has approved $200m in funding for a project to improve the safety, resilience and efficiency of a railway line in Tanzania between Dar es Salaam and Isaka. 

The project, which is the second phase of the Tanzania Intermodal Rail and Development Plan (TIRP), will include the refurbishment or rehabilitation of around 470km of railway track on the line and the installation of climate defences such as flood control systems. 

Funding from the IDA will mainly support the strengthening of the railway’s infrastructure and transport studies on the line ($129m), with the climate resilience aspects of the project receiving $55.3m of the funding and the remaining $15.5m going towards operational and institutional support. 

In the document outlining the case for the project, the IDA estimated that it would directly benefit more than 850,000 people who use the rail services and the surrounding reservoirs, which will be rehabilitated as part of the works, and indirectly benefit from than 3.5 million people, representing around 5% of Tanzania’s eligible population. 

A key part of the project will be the protection of the Kilosa – Gulwe – Igandu section of the railway which is currently subject to closure for three to four months every year, thanks to its vulnerability to recurring flooding in the area caused by heavy rains and a lack of soil cover upstream. 

The investment is the second by the IDA into TIRP following a $270m loan for the first phase of the project, which included track rehabilitation and the acquisition of additional rolling stock. 

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It is also part of a wider investment into the country’s rail infrastructure which includes the construction of a Standard Gauge Railway connecting the Port of Dar es Salaam to neighbouring countries. 

The country previously granted a $2.2bn contract to a Chinese construction firm for the building of the final section of the railway.