Mtwara — CONSTRUCTION of Mbamba- Bay Port in Ruvuma Region is set to commence in this month, Director General for Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), Mr Plasduce Mbossa has affirmed.
Mr Mbossa said over the weekend that TPA was aware of the importance of the port, reaffirming the authority’s commitment to ensure the plan to develop the port is implemented as planned.
“TPA is aware of the importance of Mbamba Bay Port and for that matter we are committed to implement the plan towards opening up the Mtwara Corridor and Mtwara Port,” he said.
The TPA’s boss made the revelation following concerns raised by Tanzania’s Ambassador to Malawi, Mr Humphrey Polepole, on the need for TPA to construct Mbamba Bay Port in order to open Mtwara Corridor to promote economic growth in Mtwara and Ruvuma Regions.
Mtwara Corridor is a major infrastructure involving Southern Tanzania, Northern Mozambique and Eastern Zambia.
The infrastructure consists of road, railway and water access from the surrounding regions to the port of Mtwara.
According to Ambassador Polepole, Mtwara Port will not be fully utilised if Mbamba-Bay is not constructed to facilitate the movement of goods and people from the deepest water port to other places especially in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.
“We should not be proud that Mtwara Port is upgraded while Mbamba-Bay which is the second point for transporting the cargos from Mtwara Port is not functioning,” he said.
He said Mtwara Port will not be able to handle cargo ships destined for Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique unless Mbamba-Bay port is constructed to facilitate the move.
Mr Polepole said that currently Mtwara Port fails to tap many business opportunities from Malawi due to lack of access to water transport at Mbamba-Bay port.
He pointed to a case where Malawi floated a tender for importing 171 million litres of fuel and had to use the Port of Dar es Salaam to ship 50 million liters as the rest were shipped through Nacala and Beira Ports in Mozambique.
He said the car fuel would have been transported via Mtwara Port to Malawi through the facilitation of Mbamba-Bay port.
He said the government leaders in Mtwara Region are working hard to tap business opportunities from neighbouring countries through Mtwara Port to transform the region’s economy.
He reiterated the need for TPA to speed up the construction of Mbamba-Bay Port to facilitate the implementation of the plan.
The government in Mtwara Region has developed a grand strategic plan to attract foreign and local business opportunities through Mtwara Port, gas being among other resources to promote economic growth in the region.