Mbamba Bay project in top gear

PREPARATIONS are in top gear for the construction of a modern Mbamba Bay Port in Ruvuma Region.

The government has already coughed up 70bn/- for the mega project, which upon completion, would hugely transform water transport on Lake Nyasa.

Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) Manager for Lake Nyasa ports, Mr Manga Gassaya revealed this, saying once completed Mbamba Bay Port would become the largest port on Lake Nyasa.

The Port Manager is grateful to President Samia Suluhu Hassan for financing the construction of what will become gateway into tapping business opportunities in neighbouring Malawi, because it will open access to water transport.

“Our sincere gratitude goes to the sixth phase government under President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan for releasing 70bn/- to finance the construction of a big and modern Mbamba Bay Port,” he stated.

According to Mr Gassaya, the project is set to be completed in 36 months.

“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.

According to TPA Public Relations and Communication Manager, Mr Nicodemus Mushi, the Mbamba Bay Port will serve as an essential transport link between Tanzania and Malawi.

“The port of Mbamba Bay will be an important driver of the Southern market, increasing cargo and efficiency at Mtwara’s port.

Cargo from Mtwara Port will be transported by road to Mbamba Bay Port, which has the shortest distance and the lowest cost for transferring cargo to Malawi,” stated Mr Mushi.

According to him, the procurement process to find a contractor is on-going and compensation payments to people who were relocated to pave the way for the project have been made.

TPA Deputy Director General Engineer Juma Kijavara said the Mbamba Bay project was crucial for economic growth in the southern part of Tanzania.

“We’re going to completely change the face of Mbamba Bay, we’re going to construct a dockyard with the capacity of handling vessels of more than 30,000 tonnes and we’ll build a one-stop centre, this will open our country and other neighbouring countries,” said Eng. Kijavara.

The construction of Mbamba Bay Port is in line with the government’s plans to open up the Mtwara Development Corridor.

The Mtwara Development Project is a major infrastructure development project involving southern Tanzania, northern Mozambique, eastern Malawi and Eastern Zambia.

The goal of this project is to provide road, rail and waterway access from the surrounding regions to the Port of Mtwara.

A road and rail link is to be built from the port of Mtwara to Mbamba Bay on Lake Nyasa to link Malawi to the corridor and further road links into Mozambique will facilitate access to northern Mozambique.

“The major objective for the construction of Mbamba Bay Port is to unlock the Mtwara Development Corridor with the target of serving cargo destined for Malawi and Zambia from Mtwara Port through Lake Nyasa. This will help decongest the Dar es Salaam Port,” said Mr Gassaya.

Upon the completion of all port projects, it will increase the capacity of Lake Nyasa ports to handle cargoes from the current 76,200 tonnes of cargo to 552,300 tonnes.

“Also, the completion of all projects will increase the passenger handling capacity from 126,000 passengers to 656,000 passengers.

On behalf of TPA Director General, Mr Plasduce Mbosa, I would like to convey our sincere gratitude to President Samia Suluhu Hassan for the massive refurbishment of our ports and the construction of new ports implemented by her sixth phase government,” he said.

He further lauded Dr Samia for releasing funds for various port projects on time in her continued efforts to ensure Tanzania’s ports offer world class services.

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