A boat with a capacity of around 1,600 tonnes belonging to a Burundian operator is being built on Lake Tanganyika in the locality of Kabezi (Bujumbura province). Members of the Association des Armateurs du Lac Kivu (ASALAK) who are executing this project reassure that the finished product is expected at least in 7 months.
According to Patrice Makyambe, head of works on the shipyard, the construction of the boat began in June 2021. “We hope to be able to close the shipyard in 7 months, that is to say in January 2022 or at the latest in April” , he points out.
Mr. Patrice Makyambe explains that the capacity of the boat is determined in a technical way taking into account the tonnage “This is estimated at 1600 tons”, he indicates before informing that the material used is imported from the ‘Europe and Asia. The boat is 68 meters long with a width of 4.5 meters. It will have three levels at the back.
75 years old, this retiree from the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo (SNCC) reassures that the construction of this boat follows standard standards. This especially as ASALAK is known in the manufacture of fleets sailing on the Congo River, on Lake Kivu and on Lake Tanganyika. However, he recalls that the work is purely manual. He regrets that there is a lot of heat in the area where the construction site is located. And to continue: “We also lack the means of transport. Once an employee is injured, it is difficult to transport them directly to the hospital. ” This before pleading for the safety of the site.
Mr. Patrice Makyambe invites to invest in lake transport, because it is less expensive. For him, boats carry a lot of goods. And to add: “Besides, they have a long lifespan. A well maintained boat has a minimum lifespan of 70 years. It can last over 100 years. In Bukavu, there is a boat called Kibati which was built in 1901, that is 120 years ”.
He confirms that the boat’s engine “made in Burundi” is currently on order. The association wants to use a 700 x2 chevron engine.
Jobs created in the sub-region
Patrice Makyambe announces that 24 employees including 13 Burundians are working on the site. These are paid monthly and have health insurance.
In addition, on the site a generator is used which consumes between 60 and 70 liters of fuel per day.
Paul Sinzinkayo is one of the employees at the Kabezi shipyard. Aged 39 and the father of 4 children, he reassures that the money he earns helps in the survival of his household. This is because all of her 4 children attend school.
This project comes at a time when Burundian economic operators prefer the road route over the sea route. The port of Bujumbura, which has a capacity of 500,000 tonnes per year, has never been able to reach it. However, using the lake route would reduce the cost of transporting goods on the Dar-es-Salam-Kigoma-Bujumbura route by 50%.
The boat “made in Burundi” belongs to François Uwiragiye, a Burundian economic operator. This also invests in carbon steel product types (long and flat). This in the company called Musumba Steel, experienced in supplying steel to construction projects (sheets, tubes, nails …).