Dodoma — THE Zanzibar government has commissioned the construction of a vessel with the capacity to carry 1,200 passengers and 300 tonnes of cargo at a time, Second Vice-President Seif Ali Iddi has said.
Ambassador Iddi told delegates to the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) 8th National Congress in Dodoma that acquisition of the vessel is part of implementation of the party's 2010 election manifesto. He said that construction of the vessel will be completed in 14 months and that experts from South Korea were working in collaboration with their counterparts in Zanzibar.
The vice-president said that in the wake of recent accidents, which claimed many lives and led to loss of property, the government of Zanzibar has taken various measures to ensure such unfortunate events do not recur. "We have strengthened the Zanzibar Maritime Authority in ensuring that rules and regulations in daily operations of the sector are adhered to," he said.
He added that various measures have been taken to ensure vessels travelling to and from the Isles are seaworthy. In July, this year, hundreds of people lost their lives after a boat christened MV Skagit heading to Zanzibar from Dar es Salaam capsized. On September 10, last year 1,529 passengers died after another boat christened MV Spice Islander capsized at Nungwi in northern Zanzibar.