THE Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency (Temesa) has formed a special unit to oversee daily operations of its 30 ferryboats operating in 19 destinations countrywide.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Temesa Acting Chief Executive Officer Japhet Maselle said the unit manned by four experts had been tasked to carry out thorough verification of all 30 ferryboats and check their electronic and operational systems.
According to Mr Maselle, the decision comes as one of the major lessons learnt from the recent Mv Nyerere accident, which capsized in Lake Victoria’s Ukerewe Island killing more than 120 passengers on board.
“So following the Mv Nyerere tragedy we have gone an extra mile in preventing such calamities from happening in the future. We have established the unit, which, among other things, will check the safety, quality and mechanical standards of operating ferries and report for action,” he said.
He said the special unit named Ferry Operation, Maintenance and Safety under the department of Equipment, Hire and Ferry Services (EHFS), would be under Mr Michael Myaka and would be operational on the permanent basis to ensure ferry services remained user-friendly and safe for passengers and cargo.
He said already the unit had launched its mission by carrying out thorough inspection to Mv Magogoni plying between Dar es Salaam and Kigamboni, where it discovered operational flaws that led to the suspension of its captain pending other legal measures against him.
To ensure the unit operates efficiently, it has been supplied with essential supports, including a standby special vehicle that can be used whenever there is an emergency issue to be dealt with.
“We are determined to end these regular reported mishaps in our ferries and through the reports from this unit, we won’t hesitate to take tough action to ensure sustainable services,” he stressed.
Earlier, Mr Maselle paid a visit to Songoro Marine Boatyard and inspected the rehabilitation of Mv Sengerema plying between Kigongo and Busisi in Lake Victoria, which is currently undergoing major maintenance expected to cost about 500m/-.