Cargo pile-up at Dar es Salaam port and traffic jams on the city roads are likely to ease soon, thanks to a multibillion dry port project at Ruvu in Coast Region.
Works, Transport and Communications Minister Prof Makame Mbarawa is optimistic construction of the 7.3bn/- inland container depot that will receive cargo through the central railway will play a critical role in enhancing efficiency at the port.
Professor Mbarawa, speaking in Dar es Salaam yesterday after witnessing the project's contract signing between Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) Director General Deusdedit Kakoko and Tanzania National Service's SUMA-JKT Principal Legal Officer John Mbungo, described reliable transport and storage facilities afar from the port as inevitable for the port efficiency.
The construction works on the project that is scheduled for completion in a nine-week time on an area measuring 500 hectares, will link the facility to the railway line at Ruvu. "Reliable transport and storage facilities far from the harbour are crucial in boosting efficiency at the port.
In the future, even private Inland Container Depots in Dar es Salaam will be relocated on the outskirts of the city," charged the minister. He was positive that the economic wing of the Tanzania National Service will accomplish the project on time and at the required standards.
"The government treats Suma-JKT as any other contractor and we expect the best from them given the fact that the dry port is designed as one of the biggest in the country," he observed Plans are also underway, according to the minister, to construct a new berth specifically for vehicles as well as expanding and dredging berths one to seven at the Dar es Salaam port.
"Contractors for the projects have been secured, what lays ahead is for the Attorney General to go through the contracts after which we will conduct due diligence of the bidder. The signing of the agreement will be done in one-month time.
Presently, larger ships fail to dock when there is low tide but the berth dredging will allow the vessels to anchor smoothly," he observed. The minister as well announced plans to expand the berth at Mtwara port in the Southern Tanzania on the area measuring 300 metres to allow larger ocean going vessels to dock.
Speaking at the occasion, Colonel Mbungo assured the minister that the project would be executed competently."It is not our first time to undertake government projects, in the past we were contracted to construct 400 houses for public officials and we completed on time," he boasted. He pleaded with the government to consider Suma-JKT for future construction projects.