Buvuma, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Residents of Buvuma district could not hide their joy as the government commissioned a new ferry on Friday.
The ferry is expected to make transport easier to residents and the business community who are mainly farmers and produce traders.
Gen. Katumba Wamala, the Minister for Works and Transport while commissioning the new vessel appealed to residents to use it connect to various ends with intentions of widening their financial base.
The ferry is going to replace the old one that has been operating the route from Kiyindi in Buikwe to Kirongo landing site in Buvuma. The old ferry is expected to be shifted to ply the route from Katosi to Kkoome island.
“Good infrastructure is good for development and that is why government has given it priority,” said the Minister.
The Executive Director of the Uganda National Roads Authority – UNRA, Allen Kagina applauded the management team of the old ferry for running it despite the challenges. She adds that they are now focused on completing the permanent docking piers.
The Director for Road Infrastructure Protection at the ministry of works and Transport, Ruben Tumwebaze says that the new ferry is installed with modern technology to prevent several breakdowns.
He notes that the new ferry has two improved engines and capacity to demarcate new routes that can be used by other water vessels. It also has good sound trackers for detecting dangerous objects in water.
Unlike the old ferry which has been using about 1 hour to cross from Kiyindi to Buvuma, the new ferry uses close to 45 minutes. According to Tumwebaze the ferry has been designed to carry 300 passengers at its upper and lower section and 12 small vehicles.
Alex Mabirizi, the Buvuma District Chairperson said this development is good because the new ferry will make things easier and save them from the old ferry which has been experiencing several breakdowns making it hard to maintain consistent monthly operations.
A resident James Nambula says their hope of making a number of deliveries of mainly perishable goods on time shall be achieved.
Another resident Hakim Kazungu says the old ferry has been taking long to cross to the mainland and thus causing several challenges.
Buvuma is also expected to get another new ferry next year which is under construction in Mwanza, Tanzania. The second ferry will support the smooth running of the oil palm project.