By SIMON MUNTEMBA
THE Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) says it will remain operational throughout the rehabilitation period of the port of Dar es Salaam.
According to TPA, the rehabilitation involves the upgrade of seven berths and building of a new one.
Tanzania’s largest port is being upgraded to bolster handling capacity from vessels with a load carrying capacity of 300, 000 tones to up to 700, 000 tonnes.
TPA director of marketing and public relations, Freddy Liundi, assured the general public from across the world not to panic because the port would remain open to serve importers and exporters.
In a telephone interview, Mr Liundi clarified that contrary to what was reported in the media last week, the port would remain open as the best gateway for Zambia, and particularly for the fuel tanker drivers.
“There is no need to create tension or public panic because we have never closed and will never close our port. Yes, construction is going on but business continues,” Mr Liundi said.
He said in fact, the TPA was in the final stage of completing the two remaining berths out of the seven.
And TPA liaison officer-in-charge, Hamisi Chambali, said the port which was strategically placed to serve as a convenient freight linkage not only to and from East and Central African countries but also middle and Far East countries will remain open 24 hours.
“We are actually open 24 hours a day to ensure Zambian transporters and other international traders are helped,” Mr Chambali said.