Dar es Salaam — Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have signed an agreement under which the latter has disbursed $600,000 (about Sh1.38 billion) to boost the form cargo transportation capacity.
WFP Country Representative Michael Dunford and TRC executive director Masanja Kadogosa represented their two organisations in the ceremony in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
According to Mr Dunford, WFP plans to buy between 120,000 to 160,000 tonnes of food products and transport them to different destinations through the railway network before transporting them further to other countries.
TRC executive director Kadogosa said the move would increase volume of cargo and improve efficiency of his corporation. He said for the past 10 years, the organisation was not performing well, especially in cargo transportation.
"In recent years, TRC encountered challenges such that it only transported 1,400 tonnes of good because several railway lines were closed," he said, noting that it has over 1,000 locomotives that need to be renovated but due to a shortage of funds, they renovated only 40.
According to him, some railway lines such as Tanga, Manyoni, Kilosa were closed but noted that the government was considering reviving them.
He said to ensure that TRC was revived, the government had already set aside Sh700 billion to upgrade the railway networks that were closed.
"We have already revived railway networks from Tanga via Arusha and so far we reached as far as Same via Tanga to Mombasa as the only remaining portion was 100 kilometres," he said.
He stressed since they started collaborating with WFP 2018, transportation of cargo had increased, for example from June last year to date they had transported 14,799 tonnes of goods.
Mr Dunford said WFP was not only about feeding the world especially areas with shortage of food, but, they would continue supporting different organizations.