The government yesterday revealed construction plans of five ferries that will be used to address transport challenges in different parts of the country including the Magogoni area in the city.
The ferries include the additional ferry that will ply between Mafia and Nyamisati village in the Coast Region.
Others are Chanyakaliko-Kome in Buchosa District, Idinga–Tahangala in Magu District and Kisorya-Lugenzi in Ukerewe District in Mwanza, noting that the later has started operations.
The revelation comes after the Magogoni ferries have caused fear among stakeholders including passengers using the ferry from the City Centre to Kigamboni and vice versa.
Speaking to The Citizen during an exclusive interview yesterday, the Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Services Agency (Temesa) engineer, Mr Adelard Kweka, said the introduction of new ferries at the Magogoni and Mafia-Nyamisati areas will significantly address transport challenges.
The major challenge at the Magogoni area is that the third ferry has been under rehabilitations and is expected to start operations reaching June, this year.
“The new ferry, which is expected to carry 3,000 passengers and 80 vehicles, will end the present challenges. For the Mafia-Nyamisati area, the new ferry will take the number of ferries to two at the area, which will address the challenge significantly,” he said.
However, he said the construction of the four ferries will start on the 2022/23 Financial Year, noting that construction would commence after endorsement of the budget.
Mr Kweka, who doubles as the director of ferries operations and construction, said ferry users in Dar es Salaam should be patient following the existing challenges, assuring that MV Kazi that has been under maintenance will resume operations next month.
“By adding the second ferry that will operate between Mafia and Nyamisati, the lives of citizens would be made easier and trade between the two places will also be more vibrant,” he said.
Mr Kweka also called on the users of all ferries to be free and report violations in the ferries through phone numbers that many citizens already have.
Furthermore, he said once preparations have been concluded and construction commence, the contractor is expected to spend 10 months to complete the job.
The new ‘MV Kilindoni, Hapa Kazi Tu’ ferry that was unveiled early 2021, is proving to be the real game-changer for the Mafia Island economy that was seeing sluggish growth.
The government should be commended for its efforts, which led to the funding of the Sh5.3 billion ferry that is said to impact the lives of hundreds of residents.
What is even more impressive is the fact that the 100-tonne capacity ferry was built by a local company; Mwanza-based Songoro Marine Transport Boatyard at a Dar es Salaam workshop.
Although, we are not aware of who would be the successful bidder for the four ferries, Songoro Marine Transport Boatyard has proved that Tanzania has companies that are capable of executing such enormous tasks.
The ferry benefits include providing Mafia and Nyamisati residents with reliable means of transportation and do away with the use of canoes and small ships that pose a risk to their safety.