Chalamila hails Tembo Nickel as a new hope for Kagera economy

KAGERA Regional Commissioner (RC), Albert Chalamila has hailed the Kabanga Nickel describing it as a milestone that brings fresh hopes in the region’s economy, as it would attract more investors.

He made the remarks over the weekend during a brief meeting held at his office which was also attended by officials from Kabanga Nickel, led by the Country Manager, Mr Benedict Busunzu.

Speaking during the meeting, Mr Chalamila said Kagera residents were eagerly waiting for the start of the nickel project that will enable them to benefit from different opportunities.

“People are eagerly waiting to see the implementation of the project. Before this meeting, I thought that there were some challenges you were facing. But after this briefing, I am happy that all the logistics were going on smoothly,” he said.

Elaborating, Mr Chalamila said a chain of investments will follow, citing the milk sector which had collapsed due to lack of reliable markets.

“Once the Kabanga Nickel project starts operations, you will be a good market for our products. Already, there is an investor who is operating in diary business whereby a person gets a cow on credit basis and repays the loan by selling the milk to the plant. Your presence is an economic milestone,” he remarked.

He elaborated that another investor had opened an abattoir for slaughtering cows, goats and sheep, while another investor had opted for sheep.

“Surely, you will be a reliable buyer of the livestock products. We are now beginning to see a sign of hope on the horizon,” he said.

Kabanga Nickel Country Manager, Mr Benedict Busunzu, apart from giving a brief history since the nickel was found in the 1970s, he said one of the main focus of the project was to improve people’s livelihood especially those who would be affected by the rehabilitation programme.

“The main focus of the programme is to ensure that we improve people’s lives especially those who will be affected by the rehabilitation programme. The permanent camp will accommodate about 1,000 workers which is a good market for milk and other food commodities,” he said.

Kagera Regional Administrative Secretary (RAS), Mr Toba Nguvila, said the government is keen to implement the project for the benefit of the nation.

The Relocation Consultant Lead for Tembo Nickel, Mr Basil Shio, explained that they have been in the field for two months, while work had recorded 50 per cent of the survey process.

“Over 2, 000 hectares have been surveyed and we have already reached about 750 people to be relocated and rightfully compensated,” he said.

On July 8, this year Tembo Nickel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ngara District Council for the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects for 2022.

“Through a participatory process the two parties entered a partnership for collaboration which will cover projects in six Wards namely Bugarama, Bukiriro, Muganza, Rulenge, Mbuba and Keza, in Ngara District.

The areas of focus will be education and health while the support covers a total of eleven projects. Seven projects are under the education sector to improve the school’s infrastructures including classrooms, staff offices and school desks.

Under the health sector, there are three projects that aim to improve health facilities’ infrastructures, medical equipment and medical supplies, he said.

The signing of the long awaited Kabanga Nickel mining agreement between Kabanga Nickel Limited formerly LZ Nickel Limited and the Tanzania government on January 19, 2021, was witnessed by the late President John Magufuli, who assured investors that Tanzania is politically stable and invited them to exploit the abundant resources available in the country. The operating company formed in this special agreement was Tembo Nickel Corporation Limited (Tembo)

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