8 February 2013

Tanzania: Mwanza Airport Repair Project Stalls

Mwanza — THE Deputy Minister for Transport, Eng. Charles Tizeba, has directed a Chinese company known as United Engineering and Technical Consultants (UNETEC) to start rehabilitation of Mwanza Airport immediately.

The deputy ministers' directive comes amid complaints from government officials and stakeholders that the rehabilitation has been delayed for a long period of time. "Members of the public want to see the project completed on time. They do not want to see your workers roaming here and there in the city without doing anything.

This is an international contract and must be executed according to agreement," he said. The deputy minister was also dissatisfied with what he described as absence of senior personnel at the site. He asked: "Where is your material engineer? Are your experts not here?

This is a government project. It is not a comedy show. "We will not tolerate project workers who laze around telling lies. We cannot afford to waste government money through shoddy projects," he said, looking agitated. On his part, the contractor with United Engineering and Technical Consultants from Dubai (UAE), Mr Xiong Tushang, who won a tender to rehabilitate Mwanza Airport at the cost of over 100bn/- acknowledged delay saying that the work was behind schedule.

However, he promised that the rehabilitation would commence as soon as possible. The deputy minister was accompanied by a Member of Parliament for Mwanza Region (CCM), Ms Maria Hewa, the MP For Nyamagana Constituency, Highness Kiwia (Chadema) and a the CUF MP, Mr Mkiwa Kimwanga.

Meanwhile, Moses Mathew reports from Mwanza that the Mwanza Urban Water and Sewerage Authority (Mwauwasa) has expressed concern over the frequent power cuts in the region, a situation that affects the authority's performance. Mwauwasa Assistant Public Relations Manager Robert Masunya told the 'Daily News' that the frequent power cuts frustrate the authority's revenue collection efforts.

"Mwauwasa is now experiencing a number of problems, including complaints from its customers in connection with unsatisfactory services, a situation that is generated by the erratic supply of electricity. "It is imperative that Tanesco look for a solution to this problem," said Mr Masunya.

Mr Masunya claimed that power fluctuations are a result of low voltage. He explained that the problem of power cuts was most critical in December last year when booster stations located at Mabatini and water intake at Capri-point failed to pump water to targeted areas.

He cited the affected areas as Nyasaka, Kiseke, Kisesa, Igoma, Isamilo, Ibanda, Lumala and Mecco areas which altogether belong to Nyamagana and Ilemela districts. A Tanesco official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the power problem which afflicts some parts in Mwanza is partly due to mechanical faults at Mwanza South sub-station.

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