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Proposed Tanzania-Congo water way connection to cut costs of transport

30th January 2013
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M.V Liemba, one of the oldest ships on earth plying on the world’s longest and second deepest Lake, Tanganyika, seems to be the only reliable means of transport in this sub Saharan basin. A proposal by a private firm to construct a new water link between Kasanga in Tanzania and Mliro in the DR Congo is expected to reduce transport costs in the area. (File photo)

Construction of a port and an Inland Container Deport at Kasanga area on the Tanzanian side of Lake Tanganyika will entail erection of a similar ICD structure on the Congolese side, it has been learnt.

 
The DRC structure at Mliro would act as a connectivity point between the two countries where goods will be easily transported to and from the depot, thus trimming down transportation costs.
 
Speaking to The Guardian on Monday in Dar-es-salaam, Chairman of Container Freight Stations, Inland Container Depots and Dry Ports Association of Tanzania (CIDAT) Ashraf Khan said the project proposal was sparked by two developments. 
 
One, he said, is the improvement in the infrastructure along Kasanga area particularly the road which is now being renovated following government’s decision.
 
And second is the firm’s wide experience in transportation and having the means to construct the depot.
 
“The government’s efforts in renovating the road in Kasanga area have motivated us to come up with this project so as to improve trade in the economy,” he said. By building the ports in Tanzania and Congo, more goods will be transported to and from the countries thus increasing production and also cut down transportation costs, he added.
 
Under the proposed arrangement, to be undertaken by Bakhresa Group of Companies of Tanzania and to involve the two governments, the ports will be the connectivity hub whereby goods will be transported directly to the Congo via Kasanga, where the same are then moved to the dry port at Mliro, in DRC.
 
Under the present arrangement goods are transported through Zambia then to the Congo which means that Tanzanian transported incurs extra tax costs at the two borders, he explained.
According to him, all types of goods will be transported on Lake Tanganyika save poisonous ones. 
 
The construction is a long term project and it’s yet to be decided when it will begin.
Furthermore, the implementation of this project will highly depend on cooperation between the private sector and the two governments of Tanzania and DRC, he said.
 
Committed to the production and supply of cheap and affordable goods across the country and East Africa at large, Bakhresa Company believes that this project will also create more job opportunities in the country therefore it seeks the governments’ maximum cooperation in implementing the project, he said.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN