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Tanzania is investing 105 billion/- (USD 45 Million) to build a new larger ship capable of carrying 600 passengers comfortably in addition to 400 tons of Cargo to help solve transport woes on Lake Tanganyika waters.
A statement from the Government Spokesperson, Gerson Msigwa is to the effect that, there will also be a second vessel, a dedicated cargo ship, that is going to be constructed at the cost of 100 billion/- at Kigoma.
That will have capacity to ferry 2,700 tons of goods on the continent’s deepest lake.
Lake Tanganyika despite being the deepest in Africa and with the largest volume of fresh water, it is also the mostly used means of transport linking Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The contracts to build new vessels on the Lake, according to Msigwa, were inked back in June 2021.
Apart from smaller vessels, the main ship which serves the lengthy lake is MV Liemba which was commissioned by the Colonial German Government back in 1915.
Despite its periodic rehabilitations, the ship is clearly past its usable age and thus the state is planning to build two new vessels.
Still on Lake Tanganyika, the government will be rehabilitating an oil Tanker, MT Sangara, at the cost of 8.5 billion/-.
MT Sangara is Tanker ship commissioned in 1981 with a carrying capacity of 410,000 litres of fuel equivalent to 350 tons. The vessel was built in Kigoma in the early eighties by the Belgium Ship Corporation M/S Fulton Marine.
Commissioning of new vessel on Tanganyika may replace the ancient MV Liemba, the old contraption which was commissioned in 1915 and which has been serving the lake for 106 years.
In ferrying people, Liemba sails alongside MV Mwongozo built in 1982, to serve the waterbody. There are other 16 smaller vessels from the four countries sharing Tanganyika.