Tanzania, represented by the Tanzania Shipping Agency Cooperation (TASAC), has signed a significant contract valued at 1.7 million US dollars with Turkish contractor Loca Muhendislik Gemi Makine Plastik Ve Gida San Tic.L.td.Sti. The contract aims to construct a specialized ambulance boat to address first aid challenges and provide initial treatment for individuals facing difficulties while traveling on Lake Victoria.
The signing ceremony, witnessed by Deputy Minister for Transport Mr. David Kihenzile, marks a crucial development in the country’s commitment to enhancing maritime safety. The ambulance boat is designed to respond to emergencies on the lake, particularly inspired by the tragic Mv Bukoba ship incident in 1996.
Mr. Kihenzile expressed gratitude to President Samia Suluhu Hassan for prioritizing the needs and interests of the people, emphasizing that the initiative aligns with the Chama Cha Mapinduzi election manifesto. The construction of the ambulance boat addresses a longstanding need for improved first aid and rescue capabilities on Lake Victoria, where an alarming number of drownings occur annually.
TASAC Director General Mr. Mohamed Salum highlighted that the project is part of an international communication and transport initiative on Lake Victoria, focusing on enhancing transport safety and reducing poverty for lakeside communities. The project, initially planned for implementation by Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, is now being carried out by Tanzania and Uganda.
The ambitious multi-billion project is set to be completed within 12 months, contributing to increased investment in the transport sector and stimulating economic activities around Lake Victoria. The initiative also includes the establishment of a communication system and search and rescue stations to enhance safety for Lake Victoria users.
Nyamagana District Commissioner Amina Makiragi emphasized the significance of the ambulance boat for the residents of Mwanza and other areas in the Lake Zone, while TASAC Board of Directors Chairman Mr. Mussa Mandia hailed the project’s historic importance in providing crucial rescue and treatment services.
The representative of Loca Muhendislik Gemi Makine Plastik Ve Gida San Tic.L.td.Sti, Engineer Anil Ertaylan, assured that the construction of the ambulance boat would be completed within the stipulated timeframe. The initiative reflects Tanzania’s dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of its citizens in the Great Lakes region.