Kalangala- The only ship that has been ferrying passengers from mainland to the island district of Kalangala, has halted operations.
Officials said MV Amani, the ship that has been plying between Entebbe and Kalangala for the last 10 months, has developed a mechanical fault.
This has come at a time when the government-owned MV Kalangala, is still docked at Mwanza in Tanzania where it was taken almost a year ago for overhauling.
The withdrawal of MV Amani from the waters of Lake Victoria was revealed by the vessel captain, Mr Michael Okwalinga, in a notice on Thursday.
This has prompted protests by residents, who must now rely on the risky canoes to cross the huge lake from Entebbe to Kalangala.
Mr Okwalinga said he could not guarantee that the ship could be used regularly because it had broken down a few times on the lake in the past three months. “Of course, when you have such a breakdown, the pace slows down and you also experience regular breakdowns,” Mr Okwalinga said.
Kalangala residents, led by Mr Eddie Maalo, the chairman of Kalangala District NGO Forum, demonstrated on learning about the new setback. They petitioned Transport minister Abraham Byandaala to explain how soon the ship docked at Mwanza will return and the alternative means of transport at the moment.
The MP for Bujumba, Mr Fred Badda, wondered why residents should plead with government to offer a human right and basic service.
“Why should we be kneeling down for transport yet it is government’s mandate to provide this?” he said.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor