The Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Mashimba Ndaki, has said that the upcoming construction of the fishing port in Kilwa District, Lindi Region, will spur the growth of the blue economy and subsequently increase the national income.
Ndaki made the remarks during a brief signing ceremony of the construction agreement between the government and the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) held in Dodoma on June 7, 2022.
He expressed gratitude to Hon. President Samia Suluhu Hassan for agreeing to finance the port’s construction using domestic funds. He added that the completion of this port will have numerous economic benefits for fishermen, citizens, and the nation at large.
“I thank the Hon. President for realizing this dream, she has agreed to allocate a total of Tanzanian shillings 266.79 billion for the construction of this port along with other infrastructure, including a modern fish market,” he said.
He further stated that once completed, the port will have the capacity to store 60,000 tons of fishery products per year from the Indian Ocean belt. He emphasized that this port will be larger than any existing ones on the East African coast.
Minister Ndaki clarified that the existence of this port, long-awaited since the country’s independence, will help boost the large-scale production of fishery products from this oceanic region. This differs from the current situation where many consumed fishery products come from the lake zones, including Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika.
“The presence of this port will also attract other investors in various fields, including fish processing factories, thus providing employment opportunities for citizens and boosting the nation’s economy,” he added.
Furthermore, Minister Ndaki urged the leadership of CHEC, the company awarded the port’s construction contract, to ensure the completion within the stipulated time since funds for the project are available. He stressed that they would not tolerate any excuses leading to delays.
The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, and Water, Hon. Dr. Christina Ishengoma, urged the ministry to closely supervise the contractor and ensure that the project is completed on time for Tanzanians to reap the benefits of their money.
On his part, the General Manager of CHEC, Cheng Yongjian, said the project is vital for the Tanzanian government. With their experience, they believe they will complete the construction within the scheduled time.
Earlier, giving a brief report on the port’s construction process, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, in charge of the Fisheries sector, Dr. Rashid Tamatamah, said the absence of a fishing port has caused the country to lose a lot of revenue. Large fishing vessels operating in Tanzania’s special oceanic zone have been offloading their fish cargo in neighboring countries, benefiting them more than Tanzania.