Kibirizi port sees record cargo boom

KIBIRIZI port in Kigoma Region is witnessing record cargo volumes after undergoing major facelift as trade between Tanzania and land-linked DR Congo, Burundi and Zambia keeps mushrooming.

The refurbished terminal, located some 20 kilometres from the major Kigoma Port, handled 103,188 metric tonnes of cargo in 2021/2022 financial year, which is 193 per cent of the target.

Kibirizi is the second largest port in Kigoma Region after the port of Kigoma, which is the general cargo terminal. The other port is Ujiji.

“Kibirizi port is popular for handling modern vessels with the capacity of 30 tonnes, which transport various goods for commercial and domestic uses heading to neighbouring countries of DR Congo and Burundi,” Lake Tanganyika Ports Manager Mr Edward Mabula told the ‘Daily News’.

The port is also a popular passenger terminal, ferrying petty traders and other travellers between Kigoma to neighbouring destinations and across Lake Tanganyika to the neighbouring nations.

According to statistics made available by the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Kigoma office, Kibirizi Port, handled 2,236 vessels during the 2021/2022 financial year, which is 89 per cent of the target for the year.

The terminal also served 57,485 passengers during the same period, almost five times of the target.

Mr Mabula said TPA is looking to attract more cargo and customers at Kibirizi port and has been waging campaigns, including visiting potential customers to use the Central Corridor which is cost effective.

He said TPA was also pushing for the completion of the ongoing Kibirizi renovation project so that the port could start using modern equipment in cargo handling.

“The Tanzania Ports Authority continues to uplift Kibirizi Port in a bid to exploit the opportunity of serving general cargo to and from neighbouring countries, especially DRC and Burundi,” Mabula insisted.

He added that presence of unofficial ports along Lake Tanganyika posed a big challenge to the TPA, which is mandated with operating all ports in the country.

Last October, President Samia Suluhu Hassan laid the foundation stone for the completion of Kibirizi Port and other port projects in Kigoma, where she reaffirmed government’s commitment to develop the port sector and tap into the expanding regional market.

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