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Sunday, September 10, 2017

New dry port to change face of Ruvu, expand Coast economy

SUNDAY NEWS Reporter

AS the construction of a new dry port at Kwala Village in Ruvu- Vigwaza area in Coast Region goes on, a new urban business centre is likely to emerge and sprawl, giving the area a new face.

Authorities in Kibaha District, Coast Region have begun scratching their heads on how to capitalise on the opportunity to expand the region’s economy.
The 500-hectre dry port, whose operations are planned to kick off early next January, is posed to attract a number of businesses ranging from car parks to restaurants, accommodation and other recreational facilities.
The ‘Sunday News’ recently visited the dry port construction site, witnessing huge business potential in case authorities in Coast Region come up with an affirmative plan to invite entities and businesspersons to invest in such facilities to provide social services.
Ms Tatu Selemani, Kibaha District Council Executive Director, spoke to the ‘Sunday News’, providing hints on how to capitalise on the opportunity.
“We have already seen the business potential that will be brought about by the dry port once it becomes operational,” she said. According to Ms Selemani, the district council together with the office of the Regional Commissioner (RC) are planning to consult other authorities, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and Kwala Village government in Kibaha District to facilitate land acquisition.
“The land we are talking about is within the ranch that administratively falls under the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries.
It should also be remembered that the area is within a village called Kwala, an indication that both authorities must be consulted before acquiring the land,” she said.
Upon completion of land acquisition procedures, the district council will survey it to earmark plots for sale to investors.
Speaking about the challenge posed by a 15-kilometre road that branch off at Ruvu area from Dar es Salaam- Morogoro highway to the dry port, Ms Selemani said already they have written the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications, asking it to upgrade the status of the stretch so that it is maintained by Tanzania National Road Agency (Tanroads).
“Currently, the road is maintained by Tanzania Rural-Urban Road Agency (Tarura), but we have presented the request to the ministry, through Tarura regional manager, so that Tanroads can take over the responsibility of maintaining it,” she explained.
Real Estate Developer, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Watumishi Housing Company (WHC), Dr Fred Msemwa spoke to the ‘Sunday News,’ saying the dry port would indeed open up business opportunities around the area.
However, he said the District Council must come up with a larger area development Master Plan that will incorporate the dry port’s plan, clearly indicating how and where commercial complexes and other structures should be built.
“Upon coming up with the larger Master Plan of the area, the District Council then invites people like us (real estate developers) to construct structures that will support the operations of the terminal,” he said.
The dry port, currently under construction by SUMA JKT, will start operations next January in an area covering 60 hectares, equivalent to 600,000 square metres, out of the total area of 500 hectares earmarked for the whole project.
Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) Director General, Engineer Deusdedit Kakoko (pictured), explained that upon starting operations all containerised cargo (containers) will be hauled from Dar es Salaam Port to the terminal (dry port) in Coast Region by railway.
“This means that all haulage trucks that have been causing traffic jams in Dar es Salaam as they travel to the port to collect cargo before transporting it to the respective destinations will end up in the Coast Region,” he said.
According to Engineer Kakoko, at initial stage of operation the dry port will be able to handle 1 million containers at once, insisting that its capacity will increase as expansion goes on.
“When the dry port becomes operational next January, containerised cargo destined for upcountry and Great Lakes states will be brought here. Customers will now be collecting their cargo right from here, easing congestion in Dar es Salaam, speeding up cargo delivery as well as reducing costs to our valued customers,” DG Kakoko was quoted as saying.

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