Feasibility study for dredging options at Lake Victoria ports under varying lake levels

Request For Expressions of Interest


Edition 2:   Jul 5, 2017 (shown)
Edition 1:   Jul 4, 2017

General Information

   Jul 5, 2017
   Jul 19, 2017
   World Bank
   International procurement

Contact information

   United States


Feasibility study, advisory service, analysis  

Original Text

The overall objective of the assignment is to identify the most economic, climate resilient and environmentally sustainable dredging levels for key ports and shipping routes on Lake Victoria. Improving transportation on Lake Victoria is key to strengthening the Tanzanian Central Corridor, and is a priority for the Governments of Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. The lake plays a pivotal role in connecting land-locked countries (DRC, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi) via its shipping and railway network and is a key part of the intermodal supply chains along the Northern and Central corridor linking to Mombasa and Dar es Salaam ports. However, in recent years port infrastructure and consequently maritime operations on Lake Victoria have declined significantly.

The World Bank is currently preparing the Lake Victoria Transport Program Phase 3 Tanzania which aims to revive maritime transport on Lake Victoria by upgrading port infrastructure and building capacity to run efficient and safe ports operations. This will include dredging at key ports to ensure that ships can enter the ports all year round despite seasonal lake level fluctuations. In order to ensure that planned dredging works take into account environmental, economic and climatic impacts, in particular anticipated increases in lake level fluctuations and potential increased water hyacinth growth, a feasibility study is proposed to be undertaken. The results of the assignment will directly inform the dredging levels and the design of the planned port interventions under LVTP Phase 3.

Lake Victoria is the second largest lake in the world by surface area, but it is quite shallow (with a maximum depth of 84 meters and a mean depth of 40 meters), and therefore threatened by eutrophication . Water balance studies suggest that more than 80 percent of the water recharge of the Lake comes from rainfall that falls directly on the Lake surface. As a consequence, Lake levels have been fluctuating quite dramatically in the past due to fluctuations in rainfall patterns. The future impact of climate change on Lake Victoria water levels is deeply uncertain, with some studies predicting a dryer climate in the basin and others predicting a wetter climate. There is therefore a possibility that climate change will increase net water supply in the Lake Victoria basin, and a possibility that climate change will decrease net water supply in the basin. In addition, climate change intensifies extreme events, which means that there will likely be increased periods of intense droughts or heavy rainfall, leading to higher variance of lake levels.

Both higher and lower lake levels are challenging for the transport sector since depending on the extent of the fluctuation they can: i) require additional dredging of approaches to and in the port itself to remove impediments to access of the port; ii) reduce maximum freight load factors; and render navigation into and within ports harder due to increased eutrophication that would stimulate water hyacinth growth. Water hyacinths tend to form mats from clumps to kilometers across. These mats move around the Lake, driven by the monsoonal winds. Many of the Lake ports, such as Port Bell, are open to the monsoonal winds and in the 1990s the port and its approach would fill with water hyacinth that were so dense that the rail ferries in operation at that time were unable to dock and would need to stand offshore until the wind blew the water hyacinth out of the port basin. This would require changes to the type of operations that can be conducted and the hinder the growth of Lake transport operations. On the other hand, higher lake levels could lead to inundation of coastal towns, including some of the roads surrounding the lake and port infrastructure.

As a support to this assignment, a project called HyCRISTAL Transport Pilot Project (HyTPP) will deliver unique new quantification of past levels of Lake Victoria and the future range of levels based on climate scenarios, tailoring these to support decision making for new World Bank investments. The ongoing DFID-NERC Future Climate for Africa project HyCRISTAL (Integrating Hydro-Climate Science into Policy Decisions for Climate-Resilient Infrastructure and Livelihoods in East Africa), will provide this analysis.

During this assignment, the consultants will be expected to undertake, but not limited to, the following activities:
(i) Undertake a whole lake water quality study to identify eutrophication hot spots, in collaboration with the Lake Victoria Basin Commission. The only whole Lake water quality study undertaken was under the Lake Victoria Environmental Management Program in 2005. This study needs to be updated to understand how nutrient levels have changed and where are the eutrophication hot spots, should water levels go down again.
(ii) Collect synthetic data from meteorological and limnology models, and site recorded meteorological and metocean data, to inform hydrodynamic modelling. Conduct a geotechnical and bathymetric survey of Lake Victoria. Conduct a hydrodynamic and sedimentation study. Produce a model of projected seasonal water hyacinth mats movement. Conduct an assessment of current and future transport demand on the Lake.
(iii) Conduct a feasibility study to identify the most robust dredging level for Lake Victoria ports and key shipping routes in light of, infrastructure condition, current and future traffic projections, and possible lake level fluctuations resulting from natural variability and future climatic changes. This involves proposing different dredging and disposal methodologies and conducting a comprehensive economic evaluation of the different dredging alternatives under several lake level fluctuation scenarios and several transport demand scenarios.
(iv) Identify the most appropriate dredging and disposal methodology. In addition, should water hyacinth growth be a significant risk, the consultants should propose mitigating strategies.
(v) Prepare bid documents and a contracting strategy in discussion with stakeholders for the dredging work to be undertaken.


The World Bank Group intends to finance the assignment / services described below under the following:
- Tanzania - Lake Victoria Transport Program Phase 3 - Preparation


Eligibility restrictions apply:
[Please type list of restrictions]

The consultant will be a firm.

The World Bank Group now invites eligible firms to indicate their interest in providing the services. Interested firms must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (brochures, description of similar assignments, experience in similar conditions, availability of appropriate skills among staff, etc. for firms; CV and cover letter for individuals). Please note that the total size of all attachments should be less than 5MB. Consultants may associate to enhance their qualifications

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