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Transport in the Comoros

There are a number of systems of transport in the Comoros. The Comoros possesses 880 km of road, it has three seaports: Fomboni and Moutsamoudou, but does not have a merchant marine, no longer has any railway network. It has four airports, all with paved runways, one with runways over 2,438 m long, with the others having runways shorter than 1,523 m; the isolation of the Comoros had made air traffic a major means of transportation. One of President Abdallah's accomplishments was to make the Comoros more accessible by air. During his administration, he negotiated agreements to initiate or enhance commercial air links with Tanzania and Madagascar; the Djohar regime reached an agreement in 1990 to link Brussels by air. By the early 1990s, commercial flights connected the Comoros with France, Kenya, South Africa and Madagascar; the national airline was Air Comores. Daily flights linked the three main islands, air service was available to Mahoré. In 1986 the republic received a grant from the French government's CCCE to renovate and expand Hahaya airport, near Moroni.

Because of the absence of scheduled sea transport between the islands, nearly all interisland passenger traffic is by air. More than 99% of freight is transported by sea. Both Moroni on Njazidja and Mutsamudu on Nzwani have artificial harbors. There is a harbor at Fomboni, on Mwali. Despite extensive internationally financed programs to upgrade the harbors at Moroni and Mutsamudu, by the early 1990s only Mutsamudu was operational as a deepwater facility, its harbor could accommodate vessels of up to eleven meters' draught. At Moroni, ocean-going vessels lie offshore and are loaded or unloaded by smaller craft, a costly and sometimes dangerous procedure. Most freight continues to be sent to Reunion, or Madagascar for transshipment to the Comoros. Use of Comoran ports is further restricted by the threat of cyclones from December through March; the operated Comoran Navigation Company is based in Moroni, provides services to Madagascar. Roads serve the coastal areas, rather than the interior, the mountainous terrain makes surface travel difficult.

History of rail transport in the Comoros Much of the material in this article is adapted from the CIA World Factbook. This article incorporates public domain material from the Library of Congress document: Vincent Ercolano. Helen Chapin Metz. Comoros: A country study. Federal Research Division. Transportation and Telecommunications

Varvara Flink

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