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UNRA suspends ferry services on lake Bisina

Passenger boat loading people in Kumi to cross to Katakwi.

Kumi, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  The Uganda National Roads Authority- UNRA has suspended ferry services on Lake Bisina following the increasing water levels. 

The ferry that has been connecting Kumi to Katakwi District and Karamoja region across Lake Bisina stopped operations on Sunday following flooding at Omatenga and Kokorio landing sites. 

This has left passengers stranded and are now left with the option of going through Soroti to Katakwi a distance of one hundred and two kilometres. 

Ahmed Awoii, the Soroti Station Manager for UNRA says the decision was taken to avoid any accidents since the water has submerged the docing piers.  He explains that they will continue to observe the situation before the ferry operations resume. 

The halting of the ferry services has given fishermen with boats an opportunity to reap cash from travelers who want to cross to either side of Katakwi or Kumi Districts. The fishermen load more than 15 passengers and their luggage to cross to either side. 

According to the passengers, they pay between 3,000 and 5,000 Shillings to cross the lake with their luggage. 

Merry Aanyu, one of the passengers found at the dock in Kumi says the boats are overloading and charge exorbitantly. She appealed to the Police to help regulate boat owners who are offering alternative transport means to stop loading excess passengers.

Catherine Ariokot, another passenger stranded in Kumi says she was meant to pick students from Toroma but her journey was cut short since she didn’t plan extra cash for a longer distance. 

Lake Bisina Ferry was procured in 2015 to help reduce transport costs and long hours of travel between the two districts.

This the second time the two landing sites are submerged in three years.

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URN

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