Zambia continues to export her copper through the Kenyan port of Mombasa to avoid shipping through Rhodesia.
Zambia continues to export her copper through the Kenyan port of Mombasa to avoid shipping through Rhodesia. Mr. Ian Smith's regime closed the Rhodesia/Zambia border to virtually all traffic except Zambian copper exports early in January this year. Zambia, however, refused to ship its copper through Rhodesia and used heavy road transport to carry the vital copper exports and return with essential imports..... even after Rhodesia re-opened her side of the border.
Workers at Mombasa are handling 250 tons of Zambian copper each day. Kenya has allocated a special handling area at Mombasa to cope with the traffic of goods to and from Zambia. This increased activity has contributed to record cargo handling for Kenyan ports.
Trucks and oil tankers are used to carry the Zambian copper. The oil tankers have copper bars attached beneath the tanks, which carry oil and petrol on the return trip. The trucks carry other imports for Zambia after unloading copper.
SYNOPSIS: The Kenyan port of Mombasa is busier than it has ever been - as lorry loads of Zambian copper arrive for export. The lorries have come hundreds of miles from Zambia's copper belt to find an outlet to the sea apart from Rhodesia.
President Kaunda has decided that the Zambian border with Rhodesia is to stay closed indefinitely. In January, the Rhodesians closed the border to all but Zambia's copper exports. The Rhodesian side was re-opened, but President Kaunda said landlocked Zambia would find other routes for exports and imports.
Overland to Mombasa is now one of those important routes. Zambia imports one hundred and twenty-thousand tons each month. Exports, ninety five per cent of them copper, run at between seventy and eighty thousand tons a month.
The first shipment of Zambian copper arrived at Mombasa on February the twentieth. Now, two hundred and fifty tons of copper passes through the port every day. Trucks which take imports to Zambia bring back copper; empty oil tankers returning to Mombasa from Zambia carry copper ingots tied to their sides. Each tanker can bring eighteen tons of copper, worth about fifty pounds sterling a ton.
A special stacking and handling area has been allocated for the copper in the Mombasa docks. Two Zambian Government Ministers have visited the port to examine the facilities provided for their country's exports.
As soon as the copper arrives it is immediately unloaded and stacked according to coded markings. Deliveries of Zambian copper at Mombasa are expected to built up to ten thousand tons a month. And soon the port will be handling up to thirty thousand tons of imports a month for Zambian consumption. The situation has focused international attention on Mombasa and contributed to record breaking cargo handling at Kenyan ports
Zambia faces great problems in the coming months. By next April, the capacity of the section of the railroad from Zambia through Zaire and Angola is to be doubled. The Tan Zam railroad to Dares Salaam should be operational before 1975. But meanwhile, Mombasa is a vital staging point for Zambian trade.