Zim needs US$1m for Walvis Port
Harare – Zimbabwe requires US$1.5 million to complete construction of a dry port at Walvis Bay in Namibia.
The government of Namibia granted Zimbabwe 19 000 square metres of land in September 2009 to construct its own dry port and the project is being spearheaded by the Road Motor Services (RMS), a subsidiary of the National Railways of Zimbabwe.
However, lack of funds stalled the project and construction work only started in 2012.
The objectives of this project are to consolidate maritime goods in intermodal short and long distance transport flows, to improve cargo processing through coordinated operations, to reduce transport costs and journey time and to strengthen the role of the Walvis Bay Port in transport chains.
Transport Communication and Infrastructure Development Permanent Secretary Munesuishe Munodawafa said to date, Treasury had released US$500 000 for the dry port.
“To complete the project we need $1.5 million and we are still seeking the funds to complete the port in scheduled time,” Munodawafa said.
Munodawafa said they wanted the dry port functional by the end of 2013.
Zimbabwe’s trade volumes through the Port of Walvis Bay have grown significantly in recent years to 2 500 tonnes per month, and the figure is expected to quadruple at the completion of the dry port.
The country’s imports and exports have an option either to use the Trans-Kalahari Corridor or Trans-Caprivi Corridor as a link to the Atlantic markets of Europe and the Americas.
Munodawafa said the port was crucial for Zimbabwe’s economic development.
“The port is strategically located for a landlocked country like Zimbabwe as it links us to the rest of the world. It will become Zimbabwe’s outlet to the sea and it will see more goods going out of the country as well as coming in the country,” he said.
By using Walvis Bay as an alternative trade route to the Port of Beira in Mozambique and Durban in South Africa, Zimbabwean importers and exporters could save more than 10 days in transit time to markets in Europe and the Americas.