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Katavi runs out of cement as price surges

KATAVI Region is facing an acute cement shortage after remaining with only 53 tonnes of cement on Monday.

Cement demand in the region stands at over 10,000 tonnes a month, but since the shortage hit the nation over a month ago the problem has been growing. The shortage has increased prices by almost 40 per cent in less than a month ago.

Cement price, according to a ‘Daily News’ survey jumped to between 23,000/- and 25,000/- from the previous retail price of between 18,000/- and 20,000/-.

Katavi Regional Commissioner (RC) Juma Homera told ‘Daily News’ that the region was facing an acute shortage of cement as it remained with only 53 tonnes of cement.

"I have instructed district commissioners of Tanganyika, Mlele and Mpanda to inspect all middle and small retail shops selling cement and agents who have been contracted to supply the commodity in the region.

This is unacceptable. The culprits will be held accountable, including revoking business licences," warned the RC.

The RC told ‘Daily News’ during an exclusive interview in Sumbawanga Municipal Council on Sunday, while he was on his way back to Katavi Region. Mr Homera warned that he would not tolerate price hike in his jurisdiction.

“The availability of cement and price hike in our region in one way or another is a big challenge…but we are working on it to ensure it normalises,” the RC said.

The RC called for a national cement stakeholders’ meeting yesterday to deliberate on the issue and find a common solution.

He said he would call for such a meeting at regional level to address the situation “as soon I arrive there."

Last week Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa gave directives to all RCs through a video conference and directed them to inspect all cement factories, agents, middle and small sellers to find out the root cause of the problem.

KASANGA Modern Fish Market in Kalambo District, Rukwa ...

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Author:  PETI SIYAME, Katavi

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