DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA – Little repair work has been done on the Dar es Salaam’s International Ferry Fish market, which was gutted by fire in 2010 and early 2012 due to a lack of enough funding.
Sources say this has hurt fishmongers’ earnings, because it has made their working conditions difficult. The market serves city residents, several hotel kitchens and fish exporters
The same sources say the contractor has already pulled out since Ilala municipality who own the market, do not have the money to pay for the job.
Speaking exclusively to East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam, the Chairman of Zone Six at the market Ally Mbonde said the delays in the reconstruction of the destroyed buildings is as a result of the unpaid bills the municipality owes the contractor.
“The contractor cannot continue with the construction of the building that was destroyed with fire, because the municipality council owes a huge lump sum,” Mbonde said.
Mbonde added that the six weeks period the municipal said it would have completed the reconstruction had already elasped without any work taking place at the site.
He said that with the ongoing construction of the Dar Rapid Bus Transit project there were fears that the market could soon be relocated to pave way for the construction of the main bus station at the site.
“The failure to reconstruct the destroyed buildings has resulted in the slowdown of fish business at the market leading traders to incur loss due to poor infrastructure of water shortages and electricity supply,” he said.
When contacted last week, Ilala Municipality Mayor, Jerry Silaa declined to comment on the issue. A survey done by East African Business Week revealed that shortage of water at the fish market has resulted in filthy environment around the market, leading to blockage of the sewerage system which is hazardous to human health.
One of the lead supervisors at the market, Yahya Selemani said that cleanliness was crucial for their business and an important aspect to woo customers.
According to Selemani, the market had only 40 cleaners from the municipality which are not enough to keep the market clean as he stressed the need to educate majority visiting the fish market to make use of dustbins.
He said there are municipal laws attached to cleanliness that are being implemented by militia personnel as far as cleanliness is concerned which include fines worth up to Tsh40,000 ($24) for anyone found littering the market surroundings.
It has been reported that the authority has also failed to implement the directives by the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Development, Dr Mathayo David Mathayo, who gave a one-month ultimatum to clean the market and resolve management blues.
In an impromptu tour at the market, the minister was shocked to note the collapsed water drainage and waste chambers unrepaired while the municipality was collecting revenue.
The Manager of the market, Charles Kapongo said the reason for the delay is because of the poor purchased roofing materials.
Kapongo said that the budget for the reconstruction of the two buildings has already been set at Tsh156 million ($95,618) and that it was impossible for the city authorities to demolish the market to pave way for Dar Bus Rapid Transit project.
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