Turn railway stations into tourist attractions, MPs say

Railway Station "Tazara" in Dar es Salaam

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MEMBERS of Parliament have called on the government to explore new tourist attractions such as railway stations, ports and Rusumo waterfalls at Ngara District, Kagera region and Kirehe District in Rwanda.

Ms Halima Bulembo (Special Seats-CCM) urged the government to invest and improve main railway stations of Morogoro, Kigoma, Tabora and Mwanza in order to boost tourism. “In many developed countries, railway stations are made and treated as potential and strategic tourist destinations.

Why isn’t the government developing these stations? And is the government ready to cooperate with the private sector to invest in these stations by building shopping malls, hotels and recreational facilities in order to boost tourism?” queried Ms Bulembo.

On his part, Mr Mbaraka Dau (Mafia-CCM) urged the government to improve port stations and turn them into tourist sites. Mr Alex Gashaza (Ngara-CCM), on his side, asked the government if it was ready to conduct research at Rusumo waterfalls so as to formalize it as a tourist site and boost tourism and national income.

Responding to the questions on developing railway and port stations (bays), Deputy Minister for Works, Transport and Communication, Eng Stephen Ngonyani said that the ministry will direct Tanzania Railway Ltd and Tanzania Port Authority to invite investors on the matter.

He however noted that TRL had started improving some of its stations by renovating water systems, toilets and lounges.

“TRL has 124 stations in its railway network, and it has so far rehabilitated Kigoma, Kaliua, Pugu and Malindi stations while rehabilitation work is going on at Mwanza station” said Eng Ngonyani.

On Rusumo waterfalls, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Prof Jumanne Maghembe admitted that the waterfalls could be potential tourist site. “The ministry officials have visited the area and advised that the area could be developed and become a tourist site.

We are therefore ready to cooperate with Ngara District council to conduct research that will lead us to develop and subsequently formalise the waterfalls as a tourist site” explained the minister.

He mentioned other areas which could be joined with Rusumo waterfalls as Burigi/Kimisi reserve, Minziro forest, Kenza’s slave caves, Rubare forest waterfalls and Mutagara forest hotspurs.

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