The construction of a 113.2-kilometre tarmac road linking Karema and Kigoma ports is on the cards.
The project is set to commence at the end of May 2023. It will be executed in two phases, the first covering 54.14 kilometres from Kagwila to Kasekese. The second phase would cover 59.15 kilometres from Kasekese to Karema Port on Lake Tanganyika.
The construction of the entire road will take two years to complete. Eng provided the information. Martin Mwakabende, the manager of TANROADS in Katavi. Eng. Mwakabende emphasized that the completion of the road, which is a huge hindrance, will warrant the full operation of Karema Port.
Significance of the road to link Karema and Kigoma ports
The newly constructed cargo and passenger terminal at the Karema port began operating in September of last year. It is said that the port has yet to attract a substantial consumer base. Many blame the unfavourable road infrastructure.
Dhow operator Mussa Rashid said that Karema Port was a significant investment. According to him, the port is strategically located. Despite Karema port’s elegance and convenient location, according to Mr Rashid, when transporting foods between Kasanga, Kabwe, and Kibirizi ports, businesses find it challenging to use the terminal due to the poor state of the road linking the port to the Katavi-Kigoma.
Furthermore, he asked the government to speed up the road’s conclusion. The road also connects Tanzania with the DRC, Burundi, and Zambia landlocked countries.
Justine Mtweve, a trader in Katavi, stated that bad road infrastructure is the reason for traders’ unwillingness to use Karema Port. A number of traders and transporters have expressed interest in using Karema Port. This is according to Mr Edward Mabula, manager of Lake Tanganyika Ports. He is certain that increased usage of the terminal will result from the impending construction of roads.
Additionally, a Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Mpanda town will also be linked to Karema port. To target significant markets in the south as well as the east of the DRC, Zambia, and Burundi, the SGR line will divert at Kaliua and head to Karema port.