THE Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) is in the process of reviving Musoma Port and operations, which became defunct more than ten years.
That was said here yesterday by Mwanza Port Manager Morris Mchindiuza, while addressing reporters after touring the site, adding that the terminal is potential for the country’s economic growth, and economic wellbeing of Mara region residents and traders.
Explaining, he said the rehabilitation work is expected to be completed by April next year at 650m/-and cover 6.65 hectres of the port’s yard and support the use of ferry wagons.
The major work would involve reviving the link span that serves as a bridge between the ferry wagons and the marshalling yard, as well as construction of cargo shed and Port Office.
The port, whose three berths in total measures 160 metres, would accommodate three medium size cargo ships at ago.
During its heydays, the Musoma Port had high business interactions with ports, which include Jinja and Port Bell in Uganda, Kisumu in Kenya along others in the country.
Mr Mchindiuza, who is also in charge of other ports in Lake Victoria on Tanzania side, said availability of infrastructures, which support the use of ferry wagons at Musoma port gives the terminal a comparative advantage over others.
“Cargo destined for Musoma can be transported by train from Dar es Salaam up to Musoma in Mara region, without offloading at any point on the route,” he pointed out.
Operationally, wagons with cargo can be transported from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza by train, where there would be marshalled into the ferry wagons to Musoma Port, and dispatched again into other cargo-yard for offloading.
The Port Manager noted that efforts to reach customers for it have started yielding positive results, with some already using it.
However, according to Mr Mchindiuza, Mount Meru Millers, though seasonally, have started using the port to transport their cotton seeds cake, as well as Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL).
The list also included cement traders expressing interest to start using the terminal.
Expounding, Mr Mchindiuza said that economic activities that will require cargo haulage are already gaining momentum in Mara Region and neighbouring areas.
According to him, some investors have also started putting up industries in the region banking on the Port as a conduit, where their products would pass through.
His list also included the local farmers focusing on cotton farming, who see it as a potential place well connected with good infrastructure for the export of their products.
Musoma Port was constructed between 1966 and 1968 and became active until early 2000s, when another road was constructed from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza-Mara via either Sirari and bypassed it.
Equally, due to the poor performance of Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC), traders resorted to use trucks in hauling cargo from Dar es Salaam port to the Lake Zone, making goods expensive to the locals as a result of rise in transportation costs.
Working under the concept of ‘Creating Capacity Ahead of Demand’ TPA now places itself in a better position to fully exploit the benefits of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) in cargo transportation from Dar es Salaam to the Great Lakes’ region.