KEMONDO Bay Port is set to attain international status after major improvements that will start on March 15 this year.
The improvements will enable big ships, including the biggest vessel in East Africa – MV Mwanza Hapa Kazi Tu- to dock at the port.
The largest ship in East Africa that is 92-metre long has a capacity to carry a total of 1,200 passengers, 400 tonnes of cargo, 20 small cars and three heavy goods vehicles.
Lake Victoria Ports Manager, Mr Ferdinand Nyathi said at the port on Friday that countries that are ready to use the port include Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda.
He said the countries’ interest with the port was contributed by several issues, one of them being the use of railway line as a link from or to the marine transport that will be well in place.
Mr Nyathi said infrastructure of the port that is strategically positioned will be improved at a cost of about 20bn/- by a contractor – China Railway and Major Bridge Engineering Group.
The manager said everything was ready for the work that will take 20 months to complete, with the contractor now on final stages of resources mobilisation.
The Tanzania Port Authority (TPA) official thanked President Samia Suluhu Hassan for her unwavering move to have efficient ports and the Ministry of Works and Transport for implementation and constant guidance.
He noted that dilapidated infrastructure will be renovated or removed to pave the way for a new and modern Kemondo Port that will serve more ships, traders and cargo.
Mr Nyathi said TPA will ensure value for money in the project and that revenue will go up once international transactions increase.
Kemondo Port Officer, Mr Titus Majura said the port that was initially constructed from 1971 to 1974 serves many people, including those from small islands of Goziba, Karebe, Makiba, Gumbile and Ginagi.
He noted that a ship christened MV Victoria transports items such as agricultural goods like banana, avocado and cassava to Mwanza and brings finished goods from Mwanza Port.
He said the port that has an area of 118 acres also serves fishing, passenger and cargo boats.
He was upbeat as he envisioned more clients at his port once the improvements are completed, calling on traders to be ready to fully exploit the business opportunity.
The improvements come as President Samia nears two years since she entered the highest office of the land.