ZANZIBAR President, Dr Hussein Mwinyi yesterday opened a small seaport at the Mkokotoni area in North Zanzibar, saying it will boost trade in the area.
Dr Mwinyi also said the new facility will improve communication with neighboring regions and create jobs, mainly for youths.
"I am happy that the funds amounting to 6.4bn/- used to develop this port was from the Zanzibar Ports Corporation. This is an indication that we can plan and fund our own small projects," Dr Mwinyi said, add- ing that the Mkokotoni port will bring changes to the people.
He said that the port will help to ease transport between the Tumbatu islet and Mkokotoni, adding that the government will also benefit from it as an increased source of revenue.
Dr Mwinyi directed responsible executives to make the best use of the improved port of Mkokotoni by allowing vessels to transport people and properties without unnecessary obstacles and bureaucracies.
Opening of the Mkokotoni port was among activities lined up to celebrate 58th years since the British-backed sultanate was overthrown in Zanzibar in 1964.
The Minister for Tourism and Heritage, Ms Lela Mohamed Mussa, who was at the event on behalf of the Minister for Works, Communication and Transport, Ms Rahma Kas- sim Ali, said the port will bring about great changes to the lives of people, especially of Tumbatu, who had been calling for improvement of transportation and the port.
Some lighter vessels were anchored close to the port as a legislator for Tumbatu in the House of Representatives, Mr Haji Omar Kheri thanked President Mwinyi for implementing the ruling party CCM 2020/2025 election manifesto, but raised the issue of water shortage.
Permanent Secretary- Ministry of Works, Communication and Transport, Amour Hamil Bakari said the construction of the Mkokotoni port was carried out by Ms Edge Engineering Co. Ltd of Dar es Salaam and that it involved the use of stones placed in a mattress form for the ladder system on the side of the "causeway" and construction of four stairs with a height of one metre each.
In addition, some equipment such as 'Bollards' have been installed for ships to dock, 'Fenders' to prevent the ship's shocks when it closes at the pier, special headlights and Navigation Mast and various lights for safety and a guardrail.
Minister of State, Vice President's Office (Union and Environment) Dr Suleiman Jaf- fo was also at the event, where he praised both President Samia Suluhu Hassan and Dr Mwinyi for the good work so far in achieving development goals.
Speaker of the Zanzibar House of Representatives, Zubeir Ali Maulid and other Ministers and Members of Parliament were present and witnessed groups of people in Mkokotoni, including farmer's associations and fishers donate various items as gifts to Dr Mwinyi.