Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Beaches in Mpatta sub county are finding difficulty to operate in the existence of the MV Templar wreckage which is parked at their shoreline.
The wreckage was left at the shoreline after an accident which claimed 32 lives in November, last year. The accident occurred about 200 meters off the shores of Mutima beach in Mpatta sub county Mukono District. The revellers on the boat, were travelling to K-Palm beach at the time of the accident.
But beach owners and managers in the area say that the numbers that visit the places have consistently dwindled, since the time of the accident. They say that even the few customers who find their way to the beaches, are inconvenienced by the wreckage.
Apart from K-Palm Beach which remains completely abandoned, the other beaches next to Mutima are covered in scrubs indicating no routine activities taking place. These include, among others, Mutoola resort, Lake Side Adventure and Serenada Eco Resort Beach.
Julius Wamala, the Manager of Mutima Beach where bodies of those that perished in the lake were lined up, says that their business suffered a setback after the accident. He says that the number of people travelling to the beach have declined drastically, compared to the time before the accident, when Mutima, was the place to go for many revelers, especially over weekends.
Majority of the partygoers now accessing Mutima and other beaches use Kampala-Jinja road through Mukono town branching off at Katosi road, through Kisoga town to Ntenjeru Town Council, before heading to Mpatta Sub County.
Wamala says that the MV Templar wreckage always reminds people about the tragic accident. “We would wish it to be pulled away to a safe place where people would find it for a tour at their own wish,” Wamala adds.
But Henry Ategeka, the Principal Marine Inspector at the Ministry of Works and Transport says that the wreckage can only be removed upon examination of the report about the MV-Templar accident. He says that the report is awaiting a final signature from the minister before it is moved to another place.
Silver Musoke, one of the revellers found at Mutima Beach Gardens told URN that they still have memories of what happened but the love for water pushes them to at least get close to it, seat in the gardens and only listen to music.
K-Palm Beach which can be accessed in a 30 minutes’ sail from Mutima remains abandoned since the incident. Juma Bugombe a fisherman at Bwendere Landing Site says currently the guards restrict people from accessing the beach premises.
John Kato, another resident at Bwendero says he still gets nightmares about the Templar accident.
Mpatta Sub County Chairperson Patrick Ssajjabi says ever since the tragic incident happened the district embarked on the construction of the road connecting to these beaches as people feared to use water.