The Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) is planning to spend Sh10 billion to modernise and otherwise improve the infrastructures of all the ports on Lake Victoria.
TPA's Lake Victoria ports manager, Mr Morris Mchindiuzi, named the ports which will be improved as including Nyamirembe in Geita Region; Magagani and Nyamkwikwi in Kagera Region; Lushamba and Ntama in Mwanza Region, as well as Mwigobelo in Mara Region.
"Improvements of the ports' infrastructures target to strengthen their cargo and passengers handling and transportation capacities in line with growing demands," he said - adding that the job is projected to be completed by the end of this year.
Noting that the improvements would also boost revenues for the Ports Authority, Mr Mchindiuzi revealed that, "during the 2017/18 financial year, we collected Sh590 million in revenues. This almost doubled to Sh1.4 billion in 2018/19 - and we expect to collect Sh1.8 billion in the 2019/20 financial year."
All the ports in question handled a total of 280,000 passengers and 84 tonnes of cargoes during the 2017/18 financial year, the manager said. The figures dramatically rose in the following year (FY-2018/19), when the ports handled a record 157,000 tonnes of cargoes and 600,000 passengers.
In that regard, it is projected that some 167,000 tonnes of cargoes and 700,000 passengers will be handled through all the ports during the 2019/20 financial year.
"We expect to increase the number of passengers and tonnage of cargoes handled through the ports after we complete the envisaged improvements to the ports infrastructure," he said, noting that the improvements will further facilitate cargo and passenger transport to and from the neighbouring country of Uganda.
Other ports which are in Lake Victoria are Nansio, Mwanza North, Mwanza South, Bukoba, Musoma, Kemondo and the Isaka dry port.
Commenting on the developments, a Mwanza-based food trader Joachim Maleko said the proposed improvements to the ports infrastructure will not only reduce travelling and transport costs, but also improve the agriculture value-chain in the area.