Mpika – The Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Workshops in Mpika have embarked on a programme to rehabilitate 200 wagons over a period of ten months.
The rehabilitation exercise, which is expected to gobble about K1.9 million, is aimed at improving the fleet of copper-carrying wagons for TAZARA, in readiness for the anticipated rise in metal traffic business.
The wagon rehabilitation exercise commenced this April and will be churning out at least 20 wagons every month with the first batch due for release at the end of the month, following the release of about K150,000.00 funding by the Head Office to the workshops during the month of March.
Out of the total number of 1, 094 wagons readily available for loading all types of cargo, TAZARA has 704 wagons ideal for carrying metals.
Challenged to diversify
And the Mpika workshops are diversifying operations by manufacturing and repairing furniture for institutions of learning in Muchinga Province to broaden the revenue base.
TAZARA workshops, whose core business is manufacturing of railway spare parts and repair of rolling stock, have diversified operations in order to utilized the machinery to full capacity.
Besides the core engineering services, Mpika workshops also manufacture bolts and nuts of all sizes, manhole covers, door and window frames, basket ball, netball and football goal posts, farming implements and other tools for the general public.
So far, 100 school desks have been manufactured for Lwitikila Girl’s Secondary School and the rehabilitation of 100 chairs for the school is due to commence, while 50 chairs and a similar number of tables and seven damaged beds have been made and repaired, respectively, for Chilonga School of Nursing.
In March 2016, during a tour of the railway infrastructure, the Deputy Managing Director of TAZARA, Dr Betram Kiswaga, urged all units of TAZARA to work harder and apply more innovations in their respective work stations.
Touring the TAZARA facilities for the first time since joining the Authority in 2015, Dr Kiswaga who was amazed by the magnificence of the infrastructure, said he was encouraged to be part of the TAZARA project and challenged every employee to see to it that the facilities were utilized to the maximum. Ends
TANZANIA-ZAMBIA RAILWAY AUTHORITY
Ernest Kalando Mwape
Public Relations Officer, Zambia Region