RUVUMA: THE long-awaited Mbamba Bay Port construction and development project on Lake Nyasa in Ruvuma Region has kicked off.
An official event for handing over of the project took place on Sunday between the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) and a consultant, Anova Consulting Company Ltd, at the construction site, and witnessed by various leaders and stakeholders of the transport’s sector.
Speaking on behalf of the TPA Director General, Manager of Lake Nyasa Ports, Mr Manga Gassaya said: “It’s now the time to implement this long-awaited project which will now be implemented by Xiamen Ongoing Construction Group Co Ltd from China.”
The construction and development project of Mbamba Bay Port will be undertaken for a period of 24 months at a cost of 80.85bn/- which also includes the costs of the contractor and the consultant.
Upon construction, the Mbamba Bay Port will have many benefits including creating employments for the people of Nyasa District, Ruvuma Region and neighbouring areas and increasing the amount of cargo and number of passengers.
Equally, it will motivate economic activities such as agriculture, entrepreneurship and manufacturing industries of all levels as well as increasing the efficiency of the Ports on the coast of the Indian Ocean in connecting this Port through the Mtwara corridor.
In addition, this Port will be the new headquarters of Lake Nyasa Ports and an important link between Tanzania and the countries of Malawi and Zambia, which are important markets for food products and various products produced by the people of the Southern Highlands Regions and the coasts of Lake Nyasa.
Cargo from Mtwara Port will be transported by road to Mbamba Bay Port, which has the shortest distance and the lowest cost for transferring such consignments to Malawi.
The origin of this project was as a result of a research and feasibility study conducted by the TPA to find out the actual needs, which enable productive investment in its eight Ports located on the shores of Lake Nyasa.
The ports are Mbamba Bay, Liuli, Manda, Kiwira, Lupingu, Itungi, Ndumbi and Matema.
The results of the study showed that three Ports of Mbamba Bay, Manda and Kiwira have economic and commercial criteria and deserve strategic investments that would help in increasing their capacity of service provision and increasing the authority’s revenue.
Late last year Mr Gassaya was quoted saying once completed, Mbamba Bay will be the largest port on Lake Nyasa and the port’s annual cargo handling capacity will rise tremendously from the current 35,000 tonnes to 320,000 tonnes,” he pointed out.