Sadala Musoke, the Chief Executive Officer NODL, says the service will involve overhauling the engine of the ferry. He explains that the ferry is supposed to have an engine overhaul after every 10,000 running hours.
ferry that plies the Entebbe- Kalangala route is scheduled to suspend its
operations over the weekend for routine maintenance over the weekend. In its
March 2, 2021 statement, Nation Oil Distributors Ltd- NODL, which operates the ferry,
says the vessel “shall be breaking its normal transportation services between
Entebbe and Kalangala for approximately a month.”
Sadala Musoke, the Chief Executive Officer NODL, says the service will involve overhauling
the engine of the ferry. He explains
that the ferry is supposed to have an engine overhaul after every 10,000
running hours. Mantrac Uganda Ltd, the authorized dealer for Caterpillar -
(CAT) mechanical and engineering products will conduct the service.
In February last year, Nation Oil Distributors Ltd- NODL suspended the
operations of the same ferry to undergo maintenance and repairs in Mwanza,
Tanzania. The vessel returned in May but remained grounded until October due to
the Coronavirus-COVID-19 restrictions and the need to upgrade its docking piers
at Lutoboka in Kalangala and Nakiwogo in Entebbe.
advised travelers and business people who ply the route to use MV Ssese and MV
Pearl ferries at Bukakata in Masaka. However, this increases the cost for
people travelling from Entebbe to Masaka before connecting to Kalangala because
they need about Shillings 120,000 on a single trip of over 8 hours. MV Kalangala charges Shillings 10,000 and
14,000 for the ordinary and VIP trips respectively. The trip takes three and a
capacity to carry 100 passengers, 165 tons of cargo and 4 buses, the
vessel is one of the major vessels plying from the mainland in Entebbe to
Kalangala. It operates one return trip between Entebbe and
Kalangala, departing Entebbe daily at 2 pm and returning the next day at 11 am. In comparison, private vessels MV Natalie and MV Vanessa that ply the same route
charge Shillings 35,000 Shillings for a single trip to Kalangala and Shillings 70,000
for a return journey during the week.
also charge Shillings 45,000 for a one-way ticket and Shillings 85,000 for a
return journey on weekends. The vessels take an average of one hour
and half hours on water because they are speed boats. Meanwhile, local
boats charge Shillings 25,000 per trip. The journey is about three and a half
hours. David Ssekalye and Lisa Natumanya, both residents of Kalangala,
say their movements outside the island district, particularly Kampala will
be restricted because of the suspension of MV Kalangala.
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Businessmen in Entebbe say MV Kalangala has the capacity to carry more load such
as food and logs at a lower cost compared to boats. Some of the business
people say they spend about Shillings 40,000 to transport goods on MV Kalangala
and close to Shillings 100,000 on boats.
Some of the food vendors, shopkeepers and lodge operators at Nakiwogo, say
MV Kalangala drives customer numbers to the area. They note that they don’t make
money whenever the ferry suspends its operations.
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Herbert Katende, Entebbe Division B LC V councilor and residents want Ministry
of Works to provide a second ferry for the route.