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Manono to Moba Since AVZ have been pretty vague on the exact...

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    Manono to Moba

    Since AVZ have been pretty vague on the exact path, I thought I'd try to finally have a closer look of what they have in mind. I started by overlaying the often released rough map over a more accurate google map.

    A bit of information can be gained from this. From Manono, N33 road is followed initially. Then it goes into the great unknown, eventually following a smaller road which joins to N34 to Moba. Using this as a start, I looked in much closer detail for an exact path.

    2.jpg This is the path I found. It mimics the rough graphic AVZ used and additionally there really isn't any comparable route between B and E (I looked hard for roads using a northernly transect). Below are some details on each stage. Important to remember that the Google Earth images are around 5 or 6 years old.

    From Manono, the path heads towards the Piana Hydro Dam. This road has the power lines heading towards Manono on the side of it (supposed fairly intact according to AVZ announcement). At point A, the path turns north east towards Kiambi. At Kiambi (point B) is a big 300m river crossing over the Luyua (one of the two arms that converge further north to make up the Congo river with Manono trapped between). No one is going to build a 300m bridge any time soon here but it can be easily taken care of with a ferry service as is often done.

    Continuing north up road N33 to a turnoff to a road heading east at point C. I search for other road options further south toward Kiambi to go east but I couldn't find any viable roads. I'm pretty confident this road is the one AVZ have in mind as it is a lot more robust than the dirt tracks around it. The road passes through towns like Kaboko (point D). Road quality is questionable.

    At point E, the town of Mambwe is reached. From here the road turns east. A 10-20m crossing is required over a small river. This will need a bridge (or ferry). The road here doesn't look great although it gets better further along it seems from the images. I can't even find the names of these roads.


    From Mambwe (point E) the dirt road is followed to the turn off (point G) and then back onto more main roads. Eventually these lead to road N5 from which a turn is made to N34 towards Moba. Picture F shows a few shots of the road between Mambwe (point E) and the turn off (point G). Definitely roads there but nothing special. As you get further east, you start running into bridges and larger roads.

    Finally destination, Moba,

    My thoughts.
    * I actually expected a lot worse. I didn't know prior that there was a road from point C to G.
    * The use of 2 ton bags make far more sense with this route. I think a contractor model where lots of light trucks turn up to Manono to haul to Moba could work instead of requiring 30 ton cargo for each trip. Roads wouldn't have to be as perfect either and be improved over time.
    * 300km clearly saves on distance. Barge to Kigoma and onto Tanzanian rail to port ideally.

    Clearly a lot more work to do on that path but I think its a viable option.
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