Tanzania will pay out 23 billion shillings (approximately US$13.6 million) to 1,100 families as compensation for their homes, earmarked for demolition to give way to a new seaport at Mbegani in Bagamoyo district, about 30 kilometres north of here, a government official said Monday.
“At least 90 percent of the port site has been evaluated so far and the affected families, which will be relocated from four villages, should be compensated by June this year,” Emmanuel Mrema, chief land evaluator for the proposed port, told members of the Planning Commission in the President’s Office during their visit to the site.
“The assessed private properties cover 2,000 hectares. Hopefully, construction of the port would be completed by 2017,” Mrema added.
A spokesperson for the residents of Bisibisi, Mji Mpya, Mlingotini and Pande fishing villages said they were willing to be relocated to other areas where they could carry on with their economic activities.
“We have been fully involved in the assessment of our properties and this is why we are anxious to give way to the new port,” said Ubezi Kondo, chair of Pande village.
A deputy executive secretary of the Planning Commission, Florence Mwanri, who is responsible for community services and population census, said compensation should be timely paid out to the villagers to avoid delaying the take-off of the proposed port project.
The Mbegani port project, an integral part of the government’s 20-year transport improvement master plan, is aimed at easing congestion at the port of Dar es Salaam by handling largely Tanzania’s growing import and export cargo.
Besides serving as the country’s main gateway, Dar es Salaam port also serves land-locked neighbouring countries – Malawi, Zambia, DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.