At last, Kwala Dry Port, which is eagerly awaited to decongest the Dar es Salaam Port, will be fully-fledged from April next year. The contractor, Suma JKT, will complete the construction of the second phase of the project in six months' time from now, it has been learnt. So far, the contractor has constructed the second phase, which is major part to make the dry port fully operational, by 58 percent.

The eagerly awaited project had stalled since last year due to some challenges on the part of Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), consultant and suppliers of raw materials. However, Works and Transport Minister Makame Mbarawa on Wednesday visited the site and intervened in resolving the setbacks to accelerate the construction works.  While at the site at Kwala area in Kibaha district, Coast Region, Prof Mbarawa listened from the contractor and the TPA over reasons caused delays of the project.

Some of reasons mentioned were failure by contracted suppliers to supply cement to the site, delayed payments to contractor, poor project management and bad weather, among others. Giving his stance, the Minister ordered that the second-phase of project must be complete in six months, directing the TPA to facilitate the contractor with all required materials and funds. The second phase includes paving the places for keeping containers and construction of buildings for port's service providers.

It also involves construction of 15,5-kilometre road to connect the Kwala Dry Port to Morogoro Highway. The road construction is implemented by the Estim construction company. Once completed, the Dry Port will have capacity of accommodating 3,800 transit containers. Prof. Mbarawa said the 37bn/- project started with initial preparation works in 2017, including designs.

The Suma JKT was later in 2019 was contracted to implement the project, whereby it has completed the first phase by doing landscaping, land reclamation and building the fence. Looking disappointed, Prof. Mbarawa said such a small project was not supposed to take that so long, about four years, to complete. "This is a project to be implemented even in one year. It's a shame," Prof. Mbarawa stated, ordering the parties to ensure that they complete it within six months.

Regarding, cement supply to the site, Minister directed the TPA to go directly to manufacturers and buy the products from them instead of using agents who have already proved failure to supply the products. Commenting, TPA Director General, Eric Hamissi, said the project will be very beneficial since it will decongest Dar es Salaam Port and the city roads because trucks will no longer enter the city for transit cargo.

The cargo from the port would be ferried by train to the Kwala Dry Port and from there the trucks could pick to transport to neighbouring countries. This would relieve the city roads from heavy trucks which have been cause for damages on the roads. He assured that the TPA will implement the Minister's directive by closely work with consultant of the project to ensure that it is completed in six months.

Project Manager from the Suma JKT, Cornel Samwel Machemba promised that they will complete the project as per the Minister's directive.