WFP uses TRC services to transport shipments for use in refugee camps and similar cargoes destined for Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan. The wagons will be part of TRC equipment used to transport WFP cargo at a concessional rate.
TRC director general Masanja Kadogosa and WFP Country Representative Michael Danford signed the agreement, witnessed by the Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Isack Kamwelwe.
The MoU states that WFP will release the money for the renovation, USD 600,000 while TRC will oversee the renovation work using its own experts and facilities.
Speaking after witnessing the signing, Kamwelwe said the support from the WFP will complement government efforts to revive operations of the corporation.
The government had already disbursed 4bn/- to renovate 200 coaches and cargo wagons, and had renovated 40 wagons so far, he said, noting that upon completion of renovation, TRC will have renovated 240 wagons.
"WFP is a great partner in using our railway to transport foods from the port to neighbouring countries. We look further to strengthen the bilateral collaboration to improve our railway services to increase revenue," he said.
The support will help TRC improve its services to customers, he stated, urging sustained collaboration between the WFP, TRC and TPA to improve transport services to and from each destination.
Country Representative Danford said since 2010, WFP had invested UDS3.6 billion in the country’s transport sector.
He hinted that in the year 2019, WFP plans to procure between 120,000 and 160,000 tonnes of maize for transporting to Uganda, Rwanda and (DRC.
“WFP will continue supporting efforts of achieving economic targets established by the government,” he said, noting that the collaboration was part of this engagement.
Kadogosa said WFP was a serious partner as it has criteria, standards and image at an international level.
The MoU is aimed at increasing the corporation’s carriage capacity and efficiency from the port of Dar es salaam to neighbouring countries.
TRC at present has 559 wagons where 469 are cargo wagons and 90 are tankers, with the demand standing at more than 800 wagons.
The corporation has 328 covered wagons, where the flat wagons are 118 and their demand stands at 300 wagons.
Wagons that need to be renovated are 500 with about 200 being renovated by the government.
At least 300 wagons remaining need to be renovated for efficiency in railway transportation to be enhanced, he said.
On January 5 WFP signed a contract to purchase 36,000 tonnes of maize from Tanzania at a ceremony that was also witnessed by President John Magufuli.
This followed a government announcement three days earlier that it had a surplus of three million tonnes of crops to last for the next six months.
National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) Acting Executive Director Vumilia Zikankuba signed for the government, along with WFP Country Representative Danford.
Under the agreement, WFP said it will buy 36,000 tonnes of maize worth over Sh21bn form the food reserve agency.