Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: 84 Percent of Gas to Remain in Mtwara

THE government has re-assured Mtwara residents that most of the gas to be produced in Mtwara will remain in the region and used for the development of southern regions.

Over the next 20 years only 16 per cent of the gas extracted will be transported to Dar es Salaam, while 84 per cent will remain in Mtwara which will be exploited locally and exported, bringing maximum benefits to the people in the area.Speaking during the end of month address to the nation in Dar es Salaam on Thursday night, President Jakaya Kikwete urged the people in Mtwara not to be worried about the allocation and consumption of the resources.

The president stressed that there was sufficient gas for the current market demand and to satisfy the market for many years to come."Those industries that use gas as raw material and those which need it as a source of energy will definitely receive sufficient supply of it. There is also adequate gas to generate more electricity," he said.

Currently there is a power generating station which produces 15 megawatts that are distributed in Mtwara, Lindi, Tandahimba, Newala, Masasi, Nachingwea, Ruangwa and Mtama. The power produced has not been exhausted by the region.

He also assured the people of Mtwara that the government cares for them so much just like all other Tanzanians. "I will be the last person to ignore and abondon the people of southern regions...or from any other region," said the president, reiterating that all regions were equal and deserved same attention from the government.

Mr Kikwete further said that he will not allow anyone or a group of people in the government to ignore the plight of Mtwara people.He also said that the ongoing road construction to tarmac level in Lindi, Mtwara, Ruvuma, Rukwa, Kigoma and Kagera is self explanatory.

Plans to improve the Mtwara airport to international standard and those of Lindi and Kilwa airports are a testimony of the government commitment.The president also said: I take this opportunity to commend Premier Mizengo Pinda for a well done job in Mtwara.

He said the way he handled the situation helped the nation to overcome one of the most trying moments which would have caused the most serious troubles to the country since independence.He also commended the ministers and CEOs of parastatal organisations and government departments for their contribution in solving this problem.

He reminded the leaders of their responsibility to educate the public on issues that touch their lives, to avoid commotion and spread of misleading information.The president also consoled the people of Mtwara and Masasi for the inconvenience brought to them following the riots. "I also send my condolences to all those who lost their beloved ones during the riot and pray for quick recovery of those who have been injured."

"Legal action will be taken against those behind these riots and precautionary measures will be taken to prevent such breach of peace from recurring," he said.

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