AfricaPress-Tanzania: WATER transport challenges for Ukara Island in Ukerewe District in Mwanza Region will now become history, after completion of construction of a new ferry, Mv- Ukara-II, Hapa kazi tu.
With a carrying capacity of 100 tonnes, 300 passengers and 10 vehicles, the ferry will be of great economic importance to Ukara residents, who will not easily forget the sad story of the capsizing of Mv.
Nyerere ferry on 18th September 2018 in Ukara Island.
“Let me take this opportunity to thank the fifth phase government under the leadership of Dr John Magufuli, for the release of funds, which made the construction of this ferry possible,” Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, Mr Elias Mwakalinga said.
He said the construction of the ferry resulted from a promise made by President Magufuli after the capsizing of Mv Nyerere ferry, adding that construction of the ferry went according to the construction schedule agreed in the contract.
“I have been here for three days to ensure the exercise of putting the ferry into the water is completed, and now we will be waiting for experts from Tanzania Shipping Agency Corporation (TASAC) for the approval of the ferry and allowing it to start its route immediately. In one week, after the approval from TASAC, the ferry will be ready for operation,” he noted.
He congratulated the Songoro Marine Executive Director, Mr Major Songora for the construction of the ferry at a reasonable cost of 4.2bn/ -, after one international company presented their tender and demanded a total of 22bn/-.
“ For sure, what Songora Marine did for the country is a good thing to us, on behalf of the government, let me take this opportunity to congratulate him and his team,” he noted.
Mr Mwakalinga said in a bid to improve water transport to Islands in the country, the government had already appointed a special team, which is researching on ferry requirements for all islands and construct them immediately.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency (TEMESA), Engineer Japhet Maselle said the ferry is 39 metres long and 10-metres wide, and it will float in the water ranging 0.7- 1.0 metre (draft).
He said so far, TEMESA has a total of 30 constructed ferries across the country.