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Bukoba residents to be compensated

DEPUTY Minister for Transport, Dr Charles Tizeba.DEPUTY Minister for Transport, Dr Charles Tizeba.

DEPUTY Minister for Transport, Dr Charles Tizeba, has pledged to compensate 23 people who were forced to give up their residences to pave way for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the Bukoba Airport.

The compensation amounting to 900m/- is expected to be paid before the end of May this year. Deputy Minister, Tizeba made the assurance during a one-day tour of Kagera Region, where he inspected the ongoing expansion of the Bukoba Airport.

He said government is looking for an additional 21bn/- to compensate 600 people who will be affected by the construction of another airport at Omukajunguti area, in Misenyi district.

He, however, sounded a warning following reports that one person whose identity was not established immediately had planted trees in a reserved area.

“This person is violating the established regulations. Government will not pay him any compensation,” he said. Kagera Regional Commissioner, Mr Fabian Massawe, has appealed to government to pay the remaining 900m/- compensation to families affected by expansion of the Bukoba Airport.

“The families keep coming to my office daily asking for payment causing undue embarrassment,” he said.

Mr Massawe informed the deputy minister that the rehabilitation of the Bukoba Airport started in June, 2009 and was scheduled to have been completed by October, last year, but was delayed as a result of logistical problems adding that the project would be handed over by March 27, this year.

An Italian construction company is finalising the 1.7 km tarmac runway to allow jet engines to land at the airport. United Construction Company Ltd (UNICO) is the main contractor and the rehabilitation of Bukoba Airport will cost a total of 3bn/- upon completion.

“The last phase covers the construction of a modern terminal building. The new airport will accommodate bigger aircrafts.

After rehabilitation, the Bukoba Airport will be able to accommodate ATR 42 aircrafts with capacity to carry between 40 to 50 passengers compared to smaller aircrafts currently landing at the airport with only 8 to 12 passengers,” he said.