Tanzania plans 9.2bn/- vessel for Lake Nyasa

The Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) has signed a Sh9.2 billion contract with Songoro Marine Transport Ltd to build a ship with a capacity to carry 200 passengers and 200 tonnes of cargo that will offer services between Itungi and Kiwira ports in Kyela District.

This comes at a time that the Marine Services Company Limited (MSCL) has largely reduced its routes on Lake Nyasa and that the available number of vessels cannot satisfy the needs. The situation has also reduced revenue collection for Itungi port.

Speaking to The Citizen, the head of Itungi port in Kyela District, Mr Percival Salama, said the number of vehicles was reduced following the wearying of some vessels especially MV Iringa in 2012.

“There is about 32.5 per cent shortage of vessels offering services for the port. In 2013/14, 52 vessels were working compared to 77 vessels that were working in previous years, said Mr Salama.

On the other hand, he said the situation has necessitated PTA to enter a contract for the construction of a main vessel that is expected to be ready by early next year which upon its completion will enable Itungi and Kiwira ports to raise their revenue.

 Mr Salama also said in 2014/15 the district plans to spend about Sh200 million for electrification through the Rural Energy Agency which is important in undertaking economic activities.

“All these plans are expected to be complete in 2015. The aim here is to bring services close to users as we improve transportation for the citizens through Itungi and Rungwe ports for economic development and increase collections,” said Mr Salama.

For his part, Mr Isyaka Kaluwa, a fisherman on Lake Nyasa, said if the government moves to invest in improving transport services it’ll likely increase collections through fishing and coal mining.
Source: The Citizen, reported by Hawa Mathias from Mbeya, Tanzania
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