(Extracts from a feature article in the Daily News)
THE TANZANIA HARBOURS AUTHORITY was established in 1977 to take over from the East African Harbours Corporation when it collapsed. There have been some fairly massive investments during the last 10 years to cope with growing demands. Current projects include:
– conversion of cargo berths nos. 9,10 and 11 into a modern container terminal;
– rehabilitation of berths 1 to 8;
– rehabilitation of the Kurasini oil jetty;
– construction of a new grain terminal; the above, all in Dar es Salaami and,
– strengthening of jetties at Kilwa and Lindi.
Nothing is planned for Mtwara as it is running below capacity; studies are underway for developments at Tanga .
THE TANZANIA RAILWAYS CORPORATION was also established in 1977.
Its Lake services include:
– on lake Nyasa , the mv Iringa (80 passengers) and the mv Songea which can carry 125 tons of cargo;
on Lake Tanganyika, the German built mv Liemba (700 passengers), mv Mwongozo (400 passengers) and an oil barge – the mv Sangara.
on Lake Victoria , the mv Victoria (750 passengers), mv Bukoba (400 passengers), mv Butiama (160 passengers) and mv Clarias (290 passengers); there are also one wagon ferry (the mv Umoja), two motor vessels, each with a capacity of 200 tons, the mv Ng’ombe which can transport 100 head of cattle, two tugboats, an oil tanker and a lighter.
The rail service is faced with very serious problems including low availability of locomotive power and rolling stock and short-ages of spare parts. Thus, for example, passenger train frequency has had to be reduced from daily to four times a week on the Central line and to three times per week on the Link Line (to Moshi and Tanga).
The road service to the Southern Highlands has 60 buses, 30 trucks, 10 tankers and six trailers. It is intended to introduce new routes to Malawi, Zambia and Kenya in the near future.
AIR TANZANIA CORPORATION was formed in 1977. It started with two Fokker Friendships inherited from the defunct East African Airways Corporation and a Boeing 737 leased from DETA of Mozambique. Today there are eight aircraft – 3 Twin Otters, 3 F27-600’s, and 2 Boeing 737’s bought gradually during the last 10 years. The airline serves 21 domestic airports and 12 regional destinations including Maputo, the Seychelles, Lusaka, Muscat, Dubai and Gaborone. Passenger numbers have increased from 85,000 in 1977 to 441,000 in 1986. The airline claims to be operated by 99.9% Tanzanian personnel.
THE TANZANIA POSTS AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION came into being in February 1978 and has gradually expanded its services during the last 10 years. In 1978 Tanzania had 562 post offices with 45,444 letter boxes. Today the Corporation operates 740 post offices with some 82,000 post boxes. But this growth follows far behind the demand. Over 40,000 people are on waiting lists for post office boxes because of lack of wall space in existing buildings and shortages of locally made boxes and locks.
The greatest advance in telecommunications was the commissioning in 1979 of the first satellite ground station at Mwenge, Dar es Salaam which has 60 voice grade circuits to handle telephone, telex and telegraph traffic. The Mwenge station has access to the INTELSAT satellite over the Indian ocean thus providing links between Tanzania and the rest of the world.
A further important development was the completion in 1982 of the Tanzanian part of the Pan African Telecommunications Network (PANEFTEL). The microwave link stretching from the Namanga border in the north to the Tunduma border in the south has greatly improved the quality of the country’s telecommunications services with Kenya, Uganda, Zambia and Ethiopia.
In February 1987 the Corporation signed a contract for 514 million shillings for the installation of a new Grade A ground satellite station at Mwenge which should result in further improvements in service.