The delay by Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA to repair MV 2 Kyoga ferry has irked local residents. The ferry, which connects between Namasale in Amolatar and Zengebe in Nakasongola district on Lake Kyoga, broke down on April 9th, 2018 leaving travelers struggling for space on MV Kyoga 1.
The breakdown of the ferry has affected business in Kaberamaido, Dokolo, Amolatar, Amuria districts and parts of Soroti district. Bosco Okello, a local trader in Kaberamaido town has asked UNRA to expedite the repair of MV Kyoga 2 ferry.
According to Okello, the remaining ferry is insufficient to handle the large of volume of travelers and their merchandise. Harriet Akullo, a prominent fish dealer, says they have been using the ferry to connect to Kampala. Akullo supplies fish to markets in Kampala from Amolatar.
According to Akullo, MV Kyoga 1 is slow and small compared to MV 2 Kyoga ferry. Mark Ssali, the UNRA Spokesperson, says they are in the process of procuring some spares to fix the faulty ferry.
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Recently, the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda called for calm from residents, saying government is committed to repair the faulty ferry.
The Shillings12.39bn ferry built by a Danish company Johns Gram- Hanssen-Western Marine Shipyard has a capacity of 16 vehicles and 120 passengers.
It travels at 16.7 kilometers per hour, which is twice the speed of MV Kyoga I whose speed is 8.33 kilometers per hour. In February this year, UNRA temporarily closed the Namasale- Zengebe route after both ferries broke down.
This forced travelers to connect to Masindi Port ferry via the Apac-Lira-Dokolo-Amolatar route. The ferries resumed operations four days later.