GEOGRAPHY Form 2 Topic 9

TRANSPORT
Transport can be defined as the movement of people, animals, goods or services from one place to another. It provides a link between different parts of the country, region or world. People move from one place to another, either permanently or temporarily for various reasons.
Main Types of Transport System at Global and East African Level
Describe the main types of transport system at global and East African level
Types or modes of transport refer to the means by which people, goods, animals or services are moved from one location to another. There are three broad modes of transport. These include:
  1. Land transport:(i) Human transport (ii) Animal transport (iii) Road transport (iv) Railway transport (v) Pipeline transport
  2. Air transport
  3. Water transport
Each of these types of transport will be discussed in details below.
Land transport
This is a kind of transport that takes place on land surface. Categories of land transport include the following:
Human transport
Human transport or human portage is the transport of people and/or goods using human muscle power, in the form of walking, running and swimming. This is the old means of transport that is still used today by majority of the people in various parts of the world. Human transport involves people carrying light goods from one place to another. They carry goods on their heads, backs, and shoulders or hold them in their hands. Sometimes movement of goods can be enhanced by use of machines such as wheelbarrows, hand carts, or trolleys.
Commercial human transport, where people, called porters, are paid to carry goods, is common in less developed countries. Human transport remains popular for reasons of cost serving, leisure, physical exercise and prevention of pollution (by refraining from the use of motor vehicles which release fumes that pollute the environment). It is sometimes the only type of transport available especially in undeveloped or inaccessible places, such as mountainous or swampy areas.
Although humans are able to walk without infrastructure, the transport can be enhanced through the use of roads, especially when using human power with vehicles, such as bicycles and carts.
Advantages of human transport
  1. Availability: It is a means of transport that is readily available all the time. It may also be the only means available where other forms of transport cannot be used.
  2. CheapHuman transport is cheap and affordable than any other form of transport. It can be used anywhere and by everybody. Where the owner transports his/her own goods, no costs are incurred.
  3. Safety: It is safer than road, air or water transport because few accidents occur during transportation.
  4. Flexibility: Human transport can be used to transport different types of goods to various places in urban and rural areas. It is convenient as it is not affected by congestion.
  5. It complements other forms of transport like road and railway transports. When goods arrive at destination, it has to be carried to places where it can be transported by other means of transport. This includes moving goods to warehouses, stores, onshore, or across areas inaccessible by vehicles.
  6. Human transport does not pollute the environment as it does not involve the release of gases as compared to other forms of transport. It causes little or no noise, emits no smoke and spills no oil.
Disadvantages of human transport
  1. It is extremely slow and laborious.
  2. It depends on the physical fitness of the person. When sick or injured, transport cannot be undertaken. Thus, it is severely curtailed by sickness or injuries.
  3. It is not suitable for carrying heavy and bulky goods. It is not also convenient for carrying goods over long distances. This transport is only suitable for carrying light goods over short distances.
Animal transport
This is the use of animals for movement of people and goods. Animals have been used as means of transport since ancient times. This kind of transport was used to back up (support) human transport, especially when the goods and people were to be moved over long distances.
This form of transport is commonly used in areas where other means of transport are hard or difficult to use. The animals commonly used include donkeys, mules, horses, camels, oxen, elephants, water buffaloes, lamas and dogs.
Animals that carry goods on their backs are referred to as pack animals whereas those that transport goods by pulling are referred to as draught animalsdraft animals or beasts of burden.Humans may ride some of the animals directly, use them as pack animal for carrying goods, or harness them, alone or in teams, to pull wheeled vehicles.

Animal transport
Animal transport has the same advantages and disadvantages as human transport. However, its advantages over human transport include the following:
  1. It is faster than human transport.
  2. It can be used to carry heavier and larger loads over long distances.
  3. It can be used in places with adverse (harsh or hostile) conditions which humans cannot withstand e.g. in deserts and water-logged places.
Road transport
A road is an identifiable route, way or path between two or more places. Roads are typically smoothed, paved or otherwise prepared to allow easy travel.
Road transport is most common on land and reaches even the most remote areas. It involved the use of various vehicles such as motor cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, carts etc. It is one of the most important means of transport and is crucial to the development of commerce and industry. All the movement of goods begins and ultimately ends by making use of roads. Roads act as an important feeder to the other modes of transport such as railway, water and air transports.
Roads are constructed and owned by the local or central government. They play a big role in the economic development of many countries. This can be proved by the fact that the highly developed nations in the world have the best road networks. This is because roads facilitate the movement goods and people, thus boosting trade and commerce.
Though road transport has some limitations, it is necessary in the development of commerce and industry. It plays a very significant role in the economic development of a country.
Advantages of road transport
There are numerous advantages of road transport in comparison to other modes of transport. Advantages of road transport include the following:
  1. Road transport requires much less capital investment as compared to other modes of transport such as railways and air transport. The cost of constructing, operating and maintaining roads is cheaper than that of the railways. Roads are generally constructed by the government and local authorities and only small revenue is charged for the use of roads.
  2. It involves different types of vehicles and hence gives the person a wide freedom to choose the kind of transport to use. One can use a bus, lorry, truck, etc, depending on the weight and bulkiness of goods to be transported.
  3. Road transport is most suited for carrying goods and people to and from rural areas which are not served by rail, water or air transport. Exchange of goods between large towns and small villages is made possible only through road transport.
  4. Road transport has a great advantage over other modes of transport for its flexible service. Its routes and timings can be adjusted and changed to individual requirements without much inconvenience. One of the outstanding advantages of road transport is that it provides door to door or warehouse to warehouse service. This reduces cartage, loading and unloading expenses.
  5. It is more economic and quicker for carrying goods and people over short distances. Delays in transit of goods on account of intermediate loading and handling are avoided. Goods can be loaded direct into a road vehicle and transported straight to their place of destination.
  6. As the intermediate loading and handling is avoided, there is lesser risk of damage, breakage etc. of the goods in transit. Thus, road transport is most suited for transporting delicate goods like chinaware and glassware, which are likely to be damaged in the process of loading and unloading.
  7. As compared to other modes of transport, the process of packing in motor transport is less complicated. Goods transported by motor transport require less packing or no packing in several cases.
  8. If the goods are to be sent immediately or quickly, motor transport is more suited than the railways or water transport. Water transport is very slow. Also much time is wasted in booking the goods and taking delivery of the goods in case of railway and water transport.
  9. Road transport not only requires less initial capital investment, but also the cost of operation and maintenance is comparatively less. Even if the rate charged by motor transport is a little higher than that by the railways, the actual effective cost of transporting goods by motor transport is less. The actual cost is less because motor transport saves in packing costs and the expenses of intermediate loading, unloading and handling.
  10. Road transport is a feeder to other modes of transport. The movement of goods begins and ultimately ends by making use of roads. Road and motor transport act as feeders to the other modes of transport such as railways, ships and airways. Goods are normally transported to and from airports, ports, or railway stations by road.
  11. Roads can be constructed, developed or maintained while they continue to be used. This is unlike railways, airports or sea ports which have to await full construction before they can be used.
Disadvantages of road transport
In spite of various merits, road transport has some serious limitations. The following are some of these limitations:
  1. Motor transport is not as reliable as railway transport. During rainy season, earthy roads become unfit and unsafe for use. Heavy rains may also cause flooding and cut off some sections of the road making it impassable.
  2. There are more chances of accidents and breakdowns in case of motor transport. Thus, motor transport is not as safe as rail, air or water transport. This is especially because of reckless driving, defective vehicles, overspeeding, overloading and poor states of some roads, among other reasons. The accidents cause loss of life and damage to goods.
  3. This mode of transport is unsuitable and costly for transporting heavy and bulky goods over long distances. Vehicles can only carry a limited number of people and amounts of goods compared to ships or trains which carry heavy loads. Where transport involves carrying bulky and heavy goods, then water or railway transport would be a better option.
  4. The speed of motor transport is comparatively slow and limited compared to air transport.
  5. Goods transported by road face the risk of being stolen by robbers while on transit. Most of such incidences occur in remote and bushy areas.
  6. Motor vehicles emit gases which contribute to air pollution. Also some vehicles produce too much noise which pollutes the air.
  7. Road transport face the problem of congestion (traffic jam), especially during peak hours. People traveling by road may waste much time and fuel in jams as the vehicles take long time to reach desired destinations.
  8. The road transport is comparatively less organized. More often, it is irregular and unreliable. The rates charged for transportation are also variable and unequal.
Railway transport
This is a means of transport that involves the movement of people, goods or services from one place to another via rails and trains. Railway transport is capable of carrying many passengers and cargo per single trip as compared to road or air transport.
Railways in East Africa were constructed by the colonialists mainly for carrying raw materials from the mainland to the coast for shipping overseas. Most railway lines run from the interior to sea ports in the coasts. These lines have remained intact hitherto, only that most of them have been renovated and maintained to meet and suit the current transportation needs.
The central line, formerly known as Tanganyika Railway, is the most important railway line in Tanzania. It runs west from Dar es Salaam to Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika via Dodoma. A branch leads to Mwanza on Lake Victoria.
The TAZARA Railway, also known as the Uhuru Railway or Tanzam Railway, links the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania with the town of Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia’s Central Province. The single-track railway is 1860 km long and was built from 1970 to 1975 as a turnkey project financed by China.

Tanzania’s railway network

Railway transport
Advantages of railway transport
  1. The greatest advantage of the railway transport is that it is the most dependable mode of transport as it is least affected by weather conditions such as rain, fog, etc. compared to other modes of transport.
  2. The railway transport is better organised than any other form of transport. It has fixed routes and schedules. Its service is more certain, uniform and regular as compared to other modes of transport.
  3. Its speed over long distances is more than any other mode of transport, except airways. Thus, it is the best choice for long distance traffic.
  4. Railway transport is economical, quicker and best suited for carrying heavy and bulky goods over long distances.
  5. It is a cheaper mode of transport as compared to other modes of transport. More loads and a great number of people can be transported in a single trip over long distances at relatively low costs.
  6. Railway is the safest form of transport. The chances of accidents and breakdowns of railways are small as compared to other modes of transport. Fewer accidents are reported in railway transport.
  7. The carrying capacity of the railways is extremely large. Moreover, its capacity is flexible which can easily be increased by adding more wagons.
  8. It is not affected by the problem of congestion as is the case with road transport.
  9. Trains have such facilities as cafes, bathrooms and sleeping space, making long distance travel quite comfortable.
  10. There are good cargo handling facilities such as cranes and fork lifts used at cargo handling stations. These save on time as well as cost.
  11. Modern passenger trains called bullet trains are very fast and efficient. Travelling over 200 km/h, they cover long distances in a very short time. Such trains are common in Japan and China.
Disadvantages of railway transport
Although railway transport has many advantages, it has certain serious limitations. The following are some of the disadvantages of railway transport:
  1. The railway requires a large investment of capital and it takes a long time to construct. The cost of construction, maintenance and overhead expenses are very high as compared to other modes of transport. A lot of money is required to lay down the rail and all other facilities like warehouses, stations, safety, etc.
  2. Another disadvantage of railway transport is its inflexibility. Its routes and timings cannot be adjusted to individual requirements. People travelling or transporting goods by railway have to adhere to time and schedule. Also railway transport cannot provide door to door service as it is tied to a particular track.
  3. It involves much time and labour in booking and delivery of goods through railways as compared to road transport.
  4. Railway transport (except in the case of bullet trains) is normally slow. So it is not suitable for transportation of perishable goods like milk, vegetables and meat as they can easily go bad while on transit. It is also not reliable for transportation of goods which are urgently needed like newspapers, medicines, etc.
  5. Railway transport is not economical for transporting people or few light goods over short distances.
  6. Railway tracks come in different gauges. Some are narrow while others are wide. If two counties use different railway gauges, then railway networks between the two countries cannot be connected.
  7. Railway transport can not benefit the rural people as there are very few or no railway stations to serve these areas.
Pipeline transport
Pipeline transport is the transportation of goods through a pipe. Liquid and gases are transported in pipelines, but pneumatic tubes can also transport solid capsules using compressed air. For liquids and gases, any chemically stable liquid or gas can be sent through a pipeline. Short-distance systems exist for sewage, slurry, water, milk and beer, while long-distance networks are used for petroleum and natural gas.
Pipelines are most convenient, efficient and economical mode of transporting liquids like petroleum, petroleum products, natural gas, water, milk, etc. Even solids can also be transported through pipelines after converting them into slurry.
The pipes used to build pipelines usually range between 10 cm and 120 cm in diameter. The pipelines are made of steel or plastic tubes. They are built either above or under the ground, though those built underground are difficult to detect and repair in case a leakage occurs. The oil or gas is moved through the pipelines by pump stations along the pipeline.
The Tanzania Zambia Mafuta (TAZAMA) pipeline which runs from the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to Ndola in Zambia, covering 1710 km, and the local Songogas pipeline from Songosongo to Dar es Salaam are examples of pipelines.
In Kenya, a pipeline managed by the Kenya Pipeline Company extends from Mombasa to Nairobi, covering a distance of 450 km. The pipeline transports refined petroleum products from Mombasa to Nairobi.
Advantages of pipeline transport
  1. Pipeline transport is not associated with environmental pollution. This can only occur if there is a leakage that is not detected and repaired in time.
  2. Pipelines can be laid through difficult terrains as well as under water, making pipeline transport flexible.
  3. This kind of transport is not affected by congestion as is the case with road transport. So it is the safest and fastest means of transporting fluids.
  4. It needs very little maintenance. Although initial investment on pipeline construction is higher, the operation and maintenance costs are low.
  5. This type of transport is not affected by adverse weather events such as floods, heavy rains, fog, etc.
  6. It complements other forms of transport. For example, oil is alternatively transported in tankers via roads or water.
  7. Accidents and theft are greatly reduced compared to other modes of transport, such as roads.
Disadvantages of pipelines transport
  1. It is not flexible when it comes to delivering the products such as natural gas and oil to ultimate consumers. The product has to be delivered through other means such as roads.
  2. It is only economically viable if there is constant supply of the fluids. It is not suited for rare or occasional uses.
  3. If the pipeline is not well maintained and repaired timely, leakages can occur and pollute the environment. This may lead to loss of biodiversity.
  4. Pipelines are mainly convenient for transporting fluids. They are not suitable for transporting other goods, though in some cases other solids can be transported under pressure.
  5. Underground pipelines cannot be easily repaired and detection of leakage is also difficult.
  6. Pipelines are expensive and they take a long time and intensive labour to build. In poor, developing countries like Tanzania, the funds for construction of the pipeline may not be available, hence leading to dependence on loans and grants from donors.
  7. They have fixed carrying capacities which cannot be exceeded. Pipelines have specific diameters and hence carry fixed amounts of the fluid.
  8. Pipelines conveying flammable or explosive material, such as natural gas or oil, pose special safety concerns and there have been various accidents. Pipelines can be the target of vandalism, sabotage, or even terrorist attacks. In war, pipelines are often the target of military attacks.
Air Transport
This is the movement of people, goods or services from one place to another through the air. It is the fastest mode of transport and involves the use of aircraft such as aeroplanes, helicopters and hot air balloons. Aviation is able to quickly transport people and limited amounts of cargo over longer distances, but incur high costs and energy use. For short distances or in inaccessible places, helicopters can be used.
There are two broad categories of air transport, namely, domestic and international. Domestic air transport involves movement of people and goods within the country while international transport involves movement of people and goods from one country to another.
Air transport is not well developed in most developing countries because of the high costs involved to set up, operate maintain the industry.
Though air transport is fast, the cost of its operation is very high and thus it is suitable for only rich passengers, mails and light and costly cargo. However, in advanced countries like U.S.A., Germany, etc. it offers a tough competition to the railways.
Advantages of air transport
  1. The supreme advantage of air transport is its high speed. It is the fastest mode of transport and most suitable mean where time is an important factor. It is thus suitable for carrying goods of perishable nature, which require quick delivery, and light goods of high value such as diamonds, gold, etc. over long distances.
  2. It provides a regular, comfortable, efficient and quick service. Travelling by air is comfortable especially over long distances.
  3. Air transport is not affected by physical barriers such as mountains, forests, lakes, rivers, etc. It follows the shortest and direct routes as these barriers do not interfere with aircraft movement.
  4. It is flexible since the routes and planes can be swapped when need arises.
  5. The transport is scheduled, so there is no time wasting. This enables travelers to plan their journey in advance, a fact which makes this mode of transport reliable.
  6. It does not require huge capital investment in the construction and maintenance of surface track.
  7. Air transport can be used to carry goods and people to the areas which are not accessible by other means of transport. It can operate even where all other means of transport cannot take place due to the floods or other natural calamities. Thus, at that time, it is the only mode of transport which can be relied upon to do the relief work and provide the essential commodities of life.
  8. Air transport plays a very important role in the defence of a country. Modern wars have been fought mainly by aeroplanes. It has upper hand in destroying the enemy in a very short period of time.
Disadvantages of air transport
  1. It is the costliest means of transport. The fares of air transport are so high that they cannot be afforded by the common people.
  2. Air transport is controlled to a great extent by weather conditions. When storms, fog, mist, snow, heavy rain or any signs of unfavourable weather conditions are detected, take off of planes is delayed, routes changed or flights cancelled.
  3. In case of accidents there is very little chance of survival. Therefore it has contributed to loss of life of many people in the world.
  4. Air transport is unsuitable for carrying cheap, bulky and heavy goods because of its limited carrying capacity and high transport costs.
  5. It requires a large amount of capital investment in the construction and maintenance of aeroplanes.
  6. Air transport requires specialized skills and high degree of training for its operation. Training of the personnel in the aviation sector is a very expensive venture. This is a problem for poor countries which are not able to train a sufficient number of personnel to keep up with the demand since training is very expensive.
  7. It is relatively inflexible as it only serves places that have airports and airstrips. An exception is the use of a helicopter which can land in various areas.
  8. Insecurity problems are also experienced in air transport. There are cases of hijacking and terrorist attacks.
Water transport
Water transport is the movement of goods and people by means of a watercraft, such as a barge, boat, ship or sailboat, over a body of water, such as a sea, ocean, lake, canal or river. The need for buoyancy is common to watercraft, making the hull a dominant aspect of its construction, maintenance and appearance.
Water transport is the cheapest and the oldest mode of transport. It operates on a natural track and hence does not require huge capital investment in the construction and maintenance of its track except in case of canals. The cost of operation of water transport is also very less. It has the largest carrying capacity and is most suitable for carrying bulky goods over long distances. It has played a very significant role in bringing different parts of the world closer and is essential to foreign trade.
Water transport consists of:
  1. Inland water transport
  2. Ocean and sea transport
Inland water transport involves the transport of people and goods by rivers, canals and lakes.Ocean/sea transport involves the transport of people and goods by the oceans and seas
Inland water transport
Most inland water transport takes place in lakes, navigable rivers and canals. Lakes that are major waterways in East Africa include Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Albert. Navigable rivers are those that are deep, wide and slow enough for water vessels like ships and boats to sail on. There are very few navigable rivers in East Africa and Africa as a whole. Most of the rivers are not navigable throughout the year and only a small portion of their courses are suitable for navigation. Examples of navigable rivers in Africa include Rivers Nile, Zambezi, Congo, Niger, and Ogooue in Gabon. Other navigable rivers in the world include River Rhine in Europe, Rivers Indus and Ganges in Asia, and Rivers Yukon, Albany and Mississippi in North America.
Canals are channels that are made through land to allow water vessels like ships or boats to travel along. Examples of canals include the Suez Canal which connects the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea and the Panama Canal which connects the Caribbean Sea with the Pacific Sea. Canals in Europe include Ludwig Canal which joins River Danube to River Main, and the Dortmund-Ems Canal which joins River Rhine to the North Sea. Canals in North America have been built along the Great Lakes and include Welland Canal which connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

Suez Canal
Sea and ocean transport
Sea transport enables countries and continents to connect with sea ports in all parts of the world. Passenger and cargo liners are used in ocean or sea transport. The use of passenger liners is diminishing because of the impact of air transport. However, sea transport has been improved by refrigeration and containerization. Refrigeration enables transportation of perishable goods whereas containerization ensures there is safety and security, ease of handling and economic use of space in the transportation of goods.
Ocean transport is crucial for foreign trade. It has brought the different parts of the world closer and has knitted together all the nations of the world into one big world market. It is, obviously, the cheapest mode of transport.
Ocean transport includes:
  1. Coastal shipping
  2. Overseas shipping
Coastal shipping
This is one of the most important means of transport for carrying goods from one part to another in a country. It is a cheaper and quicker mode of transport and is most suitable for carrying heavy, bulky and cheap cargo like coal, iron ore, etc. to distant places. However, it can serve only limited areas.
Overseas shipping
This involves movement of goods and people from one country or continent to another country or continent. There are three types of vessels employed in the overseas shipping:
  1. Liners:Liners are the ships which have regular fixed routes, time and charges. They are, usually, a collection of vessels owned by one person or company, i.e., a fleet. They provide a uniform and regular service. Liners sail on scheduled dates and time, whether full of cargo or not. An example of liners in Tanzania is Azam Marine Transport, which is a collection of water vessels owned by one person and operating between Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Tanga.
  2. Tramps:Tramps are ships which have no fixed routes. They have no set rules, charge rates or schedule. Usually, they do not sail till they have full cargo. They can be chartered by exporters and are ready to sail anywhere and at any time. They are not as fast in speed as liners. Tramps are more suitable for carrying seasonal and bulky goods.
  3. Tankers:Tankers are the vessels which are specially designed to carry oil, petrol and such other liquids. They have a large capacity ranging from 200,000 to 300,000 tonnes of oil, and very rarely, we may have super tankers with a capacity of about 1,000,000 tonnes of oil.
Advantages of water transport
  1. Water is a natural route which does not require any cost of construction and maintenance. Even the cost of construction and maintenance of canals is much less. Moreover, the cost of operation of the inland water transport is very low. Thus, it is the cheapest mode of transport for carrying goods from one place to another.
  2. It is the most suitable means of transporting larger quantities of heavy and bulky goods such as coal, machinery, hardware and timber over long distances.
  3. There is minimal congestion in water transport compared to road transport. Congestion can only occur at ports during loading and unloading of cargo.
  4. The risks of accidents and breakdowns, in this form of transport, are very minimal as compared to any other form of transport.
  5. Some cargo ships are specialized for transportation of the same type of cargo, e.g. petroleum, chemicals, foodstuffs, or animals. So the safety of cargo is ensured.
  6. Water navigation facilities such as ports, tugs and lighthouses do not need frequent repairs and maintenance as compared to transportation infrastructures of other modes of transport.
  7. It is suitable for transportation of fragile or breakable goods, such as glass, since there is very limited shaking and jolting on the waterways.
Disadvantages of water transport
  1. Water transport is very slow and therefore this mode of transport is unsuitable where time is an important factor since it takes a long time to travel or move goods from one place to another.
  2. Rivers and canals cannot be operated for transportation throughout the year as water may freeze during winter or water level may be reduced greatly during dry season. Also during heavy rains, the rivers may flood or flow too fast, making them unsuitable for navigation.
  3. Modern shipping vessels are very expensive. Port construction, as well as purchase of loading and unloading machinery is also expensive. As such, a lot of capital is required to effectively operate water transport systems.
  4. Water transport system cannot be constructed anywhere. It can only be done in a limited area which is served by water bodies.
  5. The inland water transport by rivers is unreliable and sometimes the river changes its course which causes diversion in the normal route of the river.
  6. There is sometimes a problem of strong winds and storms, which greatly interfere with the shipping schedule.
  7. Some water bodies are infested with dangerous animals such as crocodiles, hippopotamuses and snakes, which can endanger the lives of people sailing through water.

The Importance of Transport in Tanzania and East Africa
Explain the importance of transport in Tanzania and East Africa
The following is an outline of the importance of the transport industry in East Africa:
  1. Source of employment:The transport employs many people in different fields. People are employed in the construction of infrastructures such as roads, railways, airports, ports, railway stations, and many other transport facilities. Yet a good number of East Africans are employed directly as drivers, conductors, pilots, cabin crew, captains of ships, mechanics, traffic controllers etc. These people are directly engaged in the transportation business.By supporting other sectors, such as trade and commerce, it also offers employment to many other people. These people include those working in automobile manufacturing industries, petroleum production and sale, and manufacture of various products used in the transport sector.
  2. Promotes trade and commerce:The transport sector aids the movement of goods and services. As such it promotes trade and commerce by facilitating the movement of these tools of trade from production areas to consumers.
  3. Promotes unity and understanding:Transport enables people from different places or country to travel and interact. This improves understanding and unity between people of different ethnic groups within the country or people of different races and cultures from different countries. This helps to create a better understanding and it eliminates any enmity between or among different people. This has led to good relationship between and among different countries in the world.
  4. Facilitates exploitation of natural resources:A sound transport network linking areas with natural resources such as minerals, forests and water facilitates exploitation of these resources because they can be easily transported from their deposits or sources to consumers or to industries for processing.
  5. Encourages the development of industries:Transportation encourages the development of other industries. For example, enhanced transport of agricultural produce from rural areas leads to growth of the primary industries such as food processing and lumbering industries. Similarly, access to mineral deposits by roads, railways etc encourages the development of mineral processing industries as these industries are assured of the availability of raw materials because of a well developed transport system linking the deposits with industries. Also transport industry encourages the development of petroleum production and refinery so as to produce enough oil required for running vehicles, road construction machinery, and other machines.
  6. Encourages development of settlements:Normally, people like to set up settlements in places which are accessed by various means of transport. Good transport system enables people to move from one place to another or transport their goods with ease. Therefore, availability of transport services encourages people to settle in certain areas.
  7. Source of government revenue:The government collects revenue from motor vehicle insurances, taxes on imported automobiles and fuels, driving licences, parking fees, and tax on use and access of some transportation infrastructures such car packing fees, etc.

Problems Facing Transportation in East Africa
Identify problems facing transportation in East Africa
Most transport infrastructures in East Africa are very poor. The countries in the region are very poor economically. So they allocate just a small proportion of their fiscal budgets for infrastructure development, renovation and maintenance. These countries mainly depend on donors to finance their projects. As a result many projects they plan are not implemented.
The following are some of the problems facing the transport industry in East Africa:
  1. Lack of capital:The development of the regional transport network has mainly been hampered by insufficient financial resources. A great deal of capital is required to lay down good transportation infrastructures. Likewise, vehicles are very expensive to purchase and operate.Because East African countries are among the poorest countries in the world, they cannot afford to construct good infrastructures to improve the transport sector.
  2. Lack of skilled labour:The countries have not invested adequately in development of skills among labour. There is a lack of skilled labour to engage in the transport sector which includes construction of infrastructures, repair and operation of machinery etc. The training of labour in the industry, especially in air, railway and water transport is very expensive.
  3. High fuel costs:The price of oil in the world market is persistently escalating. This makes operation of the transport sector even more costly. Increase in the price of fuel leads to rise in costs of transport and it also affects other sectors of the economy. This makes transport and other sectors expensive and thus unaffordable to most East Africans.
  4. Political problems:Political instability affects the transport industry severely. During chaos most of the economic activities cannot be carried out and the transport infrastructures and other public goods may be destroyed by enemies. There has been political instability in countries like Burundi, Rwanda and Somalia. This has not affected transport in the respective countries alone, but also the rest of the countries in the region. Uganda and, to some extent, Kenya have also been in political turmoil in the past. During war, the countries cannot invest adequately in transport sector as much capital is spent on the purchase of weapons and other security gears.
  5. Landlockedness:Many countries in the region are landlocked, so they use other countries’ sea ports to export and import goods and services. In case of any misunderstanding between these countries, transport is curtailed severely. Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi are landlocked countries. They rely on ports of other countries such as Mombasa and Dar es Salaam to export and import their goods to and from overseas.
  6. Impassable waterways:Very few lakes and rivers in East Africa are navigable. Most rivers are interrupted by cataracts, waterfalls and rough beds, so they are not ideal for navigation. Only small sections of rivers are navigable all the year round.Some waterways contain floating vegetating such as water hyacinths which clogs the water ways making them impassable.
  7. Thick vegetation:A large part of East Africa is covered with dense vegetation. This hinders transport in two ways:-First, construction of roads, railways and airports in such places is very expensive. This is due to extra costs incurred in clearing the vegetation. Also areas covered with forests are associated with heavy rainfall, making them unsuitable for infrastructure construction.Secondly, the thugs and robbers prefer to hide in thick forests in order to waylay, attack and rob passengers of money and other properties. Travel through places like that may be so dangerous and is often avoided especially during the night.
  8. Rough terrain:Mountainous and rugged terrain of East Africa makes construction of roads, railways, airports and pipelines very difficult and expensive.
  9. Differences in railway gauges:The railway lines in East African countries are of different gauges. Also the width of the tracks differs. This makes it impossible for countries to be connected with railway transport.
  10. Corruption and embezzlement:Due to notorious bribery and other forms of corruption in East African countries, the transport infrastructures are often constructed below standard such that they wear out quickly within few years of operation. This is because the little funds set aside for construction of various infrastructures are very often embezzled by greedy government officials for their own benefits. Tanzania is the best example where many corruption scandals are reported each year.
The Measures to Address Transportation Problems in Tanzani
Explain the measures to address transportation problems in Tanzania
Measures taken to address the problems of transport industry in Tanzania include the following:
  1. Government officials involved in corruption scandals pertaining to embezzlement of funds allocated for construction of transport infrastructures should be heavily punished. They should be jailed and their properties confiscated by the government for the public interest.
  2. The country should put more efforts to collect revenue and seek assistance from donors to assist in infrastructure construction. Also the revenue collected must be spent wisely.
  3. Training of manpower in various fields of transportation sector like pilots, cabin crew, mechanics, civil engineers etc will help to produce skilled labour needed in the transport industry. This can be achieved by introducing transport-related courses in schools, colleges and universities.
  4. Formulation of policies and laws that promote the development of the transport industry. This will attract both local and foreign investors to invest in the transport industry.
  5. Fluctuation in oil prices affects the transport industry significantly. When the oil prices go up the transport costs also rises. This problem can be solved by keeping sufficient oil reserves so that when the prices shoot up the industry is not affected.
  6. The transport industry should keep pace with advancements in technology of the transport sector in order to increase efficiency and reduce accidents. The government should formulate policies that ensure maintenance of the level-playing field for all investors. It may also consider tax relaxation for local investors.
  7. The East African countries should build railway lines with the same gauges and trucks so as to ensure connectivity with all countries in the region.

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