Sat, 24 Oct 2020

DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Tanzania-Zambia Railway passenger traffic between the two countries declined by nine percent due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the railway authority said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement released after the 115th TAZARA Board of Directors virtual meeting hosted by Tanzania on Wednesday said the COVID-19 pandemic forced Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) to suspend cross-border passenger trains from March 2020 up to now.

This resulted in a decline in passenger volume from 3,046,002 passengers transported in the 2018/2019 financial year to 2,778,708 in the 2019/2020 financial year, said the statement.

According to the statement, the TAZARA Board of Directors reviewed the performance of the railway authority for the financial year that ended June 30, 2020 and noted a four-percent improvement in freight traffic year on year.

The Board observed that the performance was suppressed by limitations arising from insufficient and unreliable locomotives and wagons and two landslides that occurred during the financial year, forcing the closure of the line for considerable periods.

The Board approved 48 million U.S. dollars for TAZARA's 2020/2021 financial year operational budget and adopted a resolution to request for 558 million dollars of investment funding under the Revitalization Bankable Business Plan from the shareholders, said the statement.

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