PRESIDENT John Magufuli’s promise to solve a long standing transportation problem on Lake Victoria has started being fulfilled after the arrival of the first consignment of 17 containers of construction materials of a modern ship in Mwanza City from South Korea.
The ship, estimated to cost 88.764bn/-, is expected to be completed by January 2021.
The containers were received recently at Mwanza Port during a reception which was attended by various agency representatives and high ranking government officials, including Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communications Atashasta Nditiye, Chairman of Marine Services Company Ltd, Eric Hamis, South Korea Company—Gasentec Country Representative Rayton Kwembe and Mwanza Regional Commissioner (RC), John Mongella.
Speaking at Mwanza Port after receiving the consignment, Mr Nditiye said the government’s goal was to ensure transportation in the country was improved.
“What we want is the work to start and be completed in time. We will continue increasing the size of the working team to ensure the project is completed in time so that the ship can start operating as soon as possible,” said Mr Nditiye.
The Marine Services Company Ltd chairman said the ship would be 90 metres long with the capacity to carry 1, 200 passengers, 20 small vehicles and 400 tonnes of cargo.
South Korea’s Gasentec Ltd Mwanza Branch Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dongmyung Kwak said the company felt a great honour to undertake a shipbuilding project, stressing that the company and the government of Tanzania signed a shipbuilding agreement in September 2018.
For his part, Kwembe said the company had started preparations for training Tanzanian workers to help in shipbuilding.
He noted that 17 containers arrived in Mwanza at the end of last month and 20-30 other containers would be arriving every other month until the construction work was completed.
Mr Kwembe assured the government and Tanzanians in general that they would use their engineering capability and technology to ensure the project was completed in time.
Mwanza RC noted that the high-speed ship, capable of travelling between Mwanza and Kagera in just 6 hours would also increase government revenue.