Islanders using the Kalangala – Entebbe route are up in arms blaming Government for the delay in the repair off docking piers in Nakiwogo – Entebbe and Lutoboka in Kalangala which has left MV Kalangala, the area’s major marine vessel grounded.
The vessel which has since February 9th been grounded leaves Kalangala residents unable to engage in business.
Currently, Islanders use the Masaka – Bugoma route which seems expensive.
“The cost of transportation from Kalangala to Kampala is five times the cost of transport when using MV Kalangala.” Richard Kiwanuka, a trader in Kalangala says.
It costs a passenger about Ugx 200,000 to move from Kalangala through Masaka to Kampala. However, a passenger uses just Ugx 14,000 on MV Kalangala when operational to get to Entebbe, the mainland.
Willy Lugoloobi, the District chairperson says Government ought to increase speed while working on the docking piers to ensure MV Kalangala sails again.
Currently, the Nakiwogo Docking Pier is taking shape. Repairs and Upgrade of the pier are a result of increasing water levels that had submerged both the Lutoboka and Nakiwogo Piers.
Works are undertaken by Nation Oil Distributors. However the Lutoboka Pier has not been worked on as yet.
“We are trying all we can to ensure that we finish work on time. The work however has to be qualitative,” Sadala Musoke, the Managing Director Nation Oil Distributors Limited says.
More than Ugx 7 billion has been lost by Islanders due to the absence of MV Kalangala, according to the District Commercial Officer Cyprian Kavuma. It remains unclear when the vessel will return to serve island residents.