THE newly-completed Ndumbi Port is set to increase the annual capacity of Lake Nyasa ports to handle goods from the current 76,000 to 110,000 tonnes, equivalent to 44.7 per cent increase.
The new port terminal located in the Nyasa District of Ruvuma Region will also increase the passenger handling capacity from 76,000 to 126,000, which is equivalent to 67.8 per cent rise, Acting Manager for Lake Nyasa Ports, Mr Manga Gassaya told the ‘Daily News’.
“The completion of the Ndumbi Port project is one of the major achievements recorded in the ports industry during President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s two years in office,” said Mr Gassaya
He said the new port has modern infrastructure capable of handling passenger flows, bulk cargo and containers.
“On behalf of the TPA Director General, Plasduce Mbossa, let me express our sincere gratitude to our President Dr Samia for the massive investment in the port sector,” he added.
The government through the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) implemented the project at the cost of 12.2bn/- as part of efforts to spur economic development in the Southern Highlands regions and to facilitate trade with the neighbouring countries of Malawi and Mozambique.
The project included the construction of a 160-metre berth and a 20.4-metre jetty head, a ramp head with 40 metres length and 10 metres width and a 1,020-square metre shed, 9,030 heavy duty pavement, a passengers lounge with the capacity to handle 70,000 passengers annually. The project also included the construction of an office building and residential houses for TPA staff.
The new Ndumbi Port whose construction was completed in December, last year happens to be a very important fork point, strategically aimed to save the transportation of coal to Kiwira Port and Malawian ports like Monkey Bay and Chipoka.
“This is another big project to be implemented by our government on Lake Nyasa,” insisted Mr Gassaya while expressing optimism that the new terminal will spur economic development of Ruvuma and other neighbouring regions.
He said the government is also planning to renovate and upgrade other ports on Lake Nyasa including Kiwira, Matema, Lupingu, Manda, Liuli and Mbamba Bay, noting that the TPA has finalised a feasibility study for the projects and submitted it to the government.
A section of residents of Nyasa District expressed their delight at the completion of the Port project, saying it will open economic opportunities in Ruvuma Region and facilitate trade with Malawi and Mozambique.
But they pleaded with the government to initiate talks with the Malawi government to allow Tanzania’s vessels to call at Malawi ports.
“We have modern ships that ply Lake Nyasa but currently they don’t go to Malawi, this acts as a barrier to trade between people from the two countries, we’re appealing to the government to try and resolve this issue,” Japheth Haule, a maize dealer in Nyasa District said.