Transportation has been an issue for decades especially in Dar es Salaam
as it is the country’s commercial city but in December the case is not the same as the whole country experiences the problem.
Daily, Daladalas (Dar es Salaam public transport) are overcrowded and there is traffic jam everywhere. By the end of November, throughout December the traffic jams in the city start to decrease as people are going to the villages/hometowns for the holiday season.
A lot of road accidents are reported during this time as well since people somehow tend to be a bit carefree, thinking it is the time to enjoy life to the fullest and release the tension they had the entire year and end up being reckless.
A few days ago a van carrying newspapers to different regions supposed to only carry two people got into an accident, claiming the lives of nine passengers among 12 who were on board in Iringa.
At the moment the police force in Iringa has taken action to check all the cargo vans in different regions and managed to capture a few reckless drivers.
There are various causes of this including the bus ticket prices going up and selling out fast. The number of people who want to go back to their hometowns is in high demand and the dates are close to each other forcing people who are desperate to look for alternative ways to get to their destinations sooner.
A bus ticket that sold for Tsh 32,000 will now cost up to Tsh 40,000. People are being told to report if they pay more than the indicated amount but the reality is that they will not report since many are willing to pay whatever added amount as long as they get to go enjoy Christmas with family and relatives. At the same, some people cannot afford the added prices.
People even resort to renting a daladala and find other people who are willing to go with them.
Kilimanjaro become very crowded during this season hence there was a need to incorporate a train to Kilimanjaro during this season to help reduce the trouble people go through.
It is not the first time you hear people saying they have or they are planning on travelling with a newspaper van or someone sold them their bus seat for double the price. The act has been ongoing for decades. I remember hearing these stories since I was in primary school.
Next year and the year after these issues will still be there. Bus tickets will go up, the buses won’t be enough, people will find the easiest way to go home even if it is risky.
This is a wake-up call for all sectors to find a permanent solution for the transportation issue that bus owners will adhere to and passengers will not be in a position to risk their lives nor spend a ridiculous amount of money for a ticket.