Buvuma district is paralysed following the grounding of Buvuma ferry for
repairs. Uganda National Roads Authorities-UNRA grounded the ferry for repair
when it broke down about two weeks ago while in transit from Buvuma district to
Kiyindi landing site in Buikwe.
Buvuma ferry is
the major means of transport between Buvuma and Buikwe districts. Following the
withdrawal of the ferry, travelers can only rely on small boats to connect
between the two districts.
Our reporter visited Kiyindi landing site over the
weekend and saw UNRA engineers towing away parts of the ferry from Lake
Victoria. Dozens of
travelers and vehicles destined for Buvuma Island district were seen stranded.
Some of the travelers were seen boarding boats to
cross to Buvuma district. Adi Kabuti, a
livestock trader from Buvuma district, said the grounding of the ferry has
taken a huge toll on her business.
He explains that
when the ferry is operational he pays very little from where he sources the
animals but the ferry is free of charges.
Cue out…ekanikibwa etya”//
Efransi Babita, a farmer says they are
suffering. According to Babita, the frequent breakdown of the ferry shows that
it is very old, saying they need a new one.
//Cue in: “kati nga juzzi…
Cue out…nga teliwo”//
While travelers are complaining
about increased fares, George Butyo, the Chairman Casual Laborers at Kiyindi landing
site, says they are cashing in since travelers have to use boats and have to be
carried to the boats.
He says they charge between Shillings 1000 to 2000 to
carry people to boats.
//Cue in: “mpozi bagamba…
Cue out…tuba tetufuna,”//
Michael Mugasi owns a boat at Kiyindi landing site in Buikwe
district. He says they would be making a lot of money but there is a lot of
competition from boats from Buvuma district.
//Cue in: “olwensonga…
The Buikwe South Member of Parliament, David Mutebi told URN
that he tabled the issue of the ferry in parliament and they were promised a
new one very soon.
//Cue in: “Ela
One of the UNRA officials URN
found at Kiyindi landing site told our reporter
on condition of anonymity that the maintenance work is expected to go on until
March 12th, 2019.
He said there after they will paint the ferry
before it resumes operations.