WALVIS BAY, 24 APR (NAMPA) - Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi has commended Namibia for providing port services to landlocked countries.
"The very fact that we also acceded to the offer and are utilising it and trying to grow it is testament to our interest in such efforts and I am most impressed by the developments that are taking place here? The Namibian population is just as little as Botswana but when our two governments get together, we become sizable," Masisi noted.
The president was responding to questions by the media during his visit to the Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) with President Hage Geingob on Wednesday.
Masisi said although they use ports in other countries as well, it is strategic to have as many options as possible, including the dry port and Namibian harbour.
Rodney Brussel, Operations Manager of Sea-Rail (Botswana), a Namibian-registered company that is operating the Botswana dry port, noted that the main objective of the port is to consolidate maritime goods with intermodal and long distance transport flows.
The 36 hectare dry port offers container and breakbulk handling with a capacity of 17 000 containers annually, vehicle handling with a capacity of 3 600 vehicles annually, and general warehousing space, as well as the potential to develop specialised warehousing to be able to handle a combined 80 000 tonnes. The dry port is also designed to have a cold storage facility with the potential capacity of handling 10 000 tonnes.
"The other objectives of the dry port are to improve cargo processing through coordinated operations and integrate Botswana and the Southern African Development Community region with the Walvis Bay port."
With regards to the envisaged Trans-Kalahari railway, Masisi noted that plans are still in progress for the railway line to be constructed between Botswana and Namibia.
"We will continue advocating for the construction of the railway line. It is a very logical move and can be compared to currency or border control. There is no reason why there should be the differences created by so-called borders. Namibia and Botswana should work together," he said.
The two countries' governments signed a bilateral agreement for the project in March 2014, paving the way for the construction of a completely new 'heavy haul' railway line stretching 1 500 kilometres from landlocked Botswana's Mmamabula coal fields to the port of Walvis Bay.
President Masisi and his delegation are on a five-day visit to Namibia.
SOURCE: NAMPA - IB/AS/EK