Zanzibar to build new portBy EAST AFRICAN | Monday, June 11 2012 at 13:48
Zanzibar plans to construct a new port to ease congestion at its Malindi port.
Infrastructure and Communication minister Hamad Masoud Hamad said the new port to be located at Mpiga Duri in Unguja would increase the island’s capacity to handle large ships and cargo.
Malindi port handles between 140,000 and 160,000 tonnes of general cargo per year, including break bulk and about 25,000 tonnes of liquid cargo mainly petroleum products and edible oils.
“We expect the new port to double the capacity of the island to handle more ships, containers and cargos arriving at Zanzibar,” said Mr Hamad, adding that, currently Malindi port is not able to dock more than three cargo ships.
The current port does not have enough container terminals. Currently, there are more than 11,220 containers yet to be collected at the port.
Malindi port was built in 1925 as a modest lighter port. The wharves of the main seaport were constructed in 1989-1991 with financial assistance from the European Union. The port handles more than 90 per cent of Zanzibar trade.
In recent years the European Union has been instrumental in funding the repair of pile caps at Malindi port.
Several assessments of Malindi port condition were made between 1995 and 2001. However, no repair works have been done resulting in further deterioration of the wharves.
Tanzania is planning to expand Dar es Salaam and Mtwara ports while at the same time, while plans are underway to build two new ones at Mwambani in Tanga and Mbegani in Bagamoyo.
“The challenge is to have efficient ports that ensure safe operation of cargo and passengers; adequate space for container handling and storage, adequate cargo handling gear and berth space to accommodate traffic and separation between cargo and passenger terminals," said Mr Hamad.
It is only recently that Zanzibar Ports Corporation (ZPC) has been able to separate passengers and cargo, prior to this many accidents involving passengers and cargo.
There is now a clear demarcation between the two, which has greatly the efficiency of the port.
“I have witnessed overcrowding at Malindi port, the government must do something to eliminate this anomaly,” said Issa Haji Ussi, the Zanzibar deputy minister of Infrastructure and Communication.
Mr Haji said the piling up of cargo at Malindi port is hindering the development of Zanzibar. “Zanzibar needs to have an international port that will foster development of the Isles,” he said.
Recently Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, the Tanzania Minister for Transport was quoted saying that Tanzania needs about Tsh 9.5 trillion ($ 6.1 billion) over the next five years to finance infrastructure development projects including railways, ports, airports and roads.
“We have no other choice for economic development but to improve the infrastructure,” said Dr Mwakyembe.
Tanzania is currently an ongoing process to expand Dar es Salaam and Mtwara ports while at the same time, while plans are underway to build two new ones at Mwambani in Tanga and Mbegani in Bagamoyo.
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