“THE government has saved lives of many people in Mafia. It has also eased trade and economic activities due to availability of ships that ply between Nyamisati Village to Mafia island,” says Abdallah Hussein, a resident of Mafia.
Mr Hussein was at Nyamisati port in Kibiti District, Coast Region which is under Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) preparing for a trip to Mafia. He said government efforts through Tanzania Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC) to improve marine transport services had been boosted by availability of ferries and the port with a modern berth which have eased trade activities.
“What we see being done have great impact on our business activities. For the time being various goods from Mafia are available at good prices compared to when marine transport was not reliable. I believe good infrastructure stimulate development,” he said.
Before construction of the modern berth which began in 2018, travellers to Mafia had to walk into waters before boarding a ferry. TPA has also constructed a passengers wait lounge and a storage facility. A member of TASAC board of directors, Musa Mandia said the government through the corporation would make sure marine transport throughout the country were safe and provide value for money to customers.
“The people deserve better marine transport services so that they can carry on with their economic activities. TASAC will continue to manage that well so that everything goes smoothly,” he said.
TASAC hailed TPA for a good work done from construction of a modern berth at Nyamisati and ensuring quality services are provided at the port. “TPA has done very good work and have constructed a very good port.
This is government’s gift to the people in Mafia who for a long time were subjected to marine transport related challenges,” he said.
Three ferries Three ferries ply between Nyamisati and Mafia. They are MV Kilindoni christened `Hapa Kazi Tu` which belongs to the government, MV Songosongo which belongs to the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) and MV CAPT 01 owned by a private individual.
“The port looks good and attractive and the services provided are good. We congratulate owners of this private ferry but we also congratulate TPDF who have been part of service providers for Mafia people through the port,” said Capt Mandia.
“It is very unique for the army to provide services to Mafia residents. They have a ferry which is very well built,” he said.
A fortnight ago, MV Kilindoni ‘Hapa Kazi Tu’ began sailing between Nyamisati and Mafia. The 5.3bn/- new ferry has capacity to carry 200 passengers and 10 tonnes of cargo. A MV CAPT 01 captain, Mkanga Suleiman said marine transport services between Nyamisati to Mafia island had improved significantly.
“For about 90 per cent, transport services are good. I always ask people and they would tell me how they benefit,” he said.
“Earlier we were using dhows and you would find 200 passengers waiting for a dhow which can carry 40 passengers only.” According to him ferry fare is 21,000/- and children under 18 years of age is 11,000/- and those below six years of age travel free of charge.
The ruling CCM Chairman for Coast Region, Ramadhani Maneno said the new ferry would be a great help for Nyamisati villagers and Mafia people as it will provide a cheap alternative means of transport apart from airplanes.
He said President John Magufuli has solved transport challenges between Nyamisati Village and Mafia Island.